How Google Authentication Has Become A Nightmare For Businesses

You've been stuck with recovering your key after loosing your phone? You're not the only one

Securing our social media accounts is one major area for product development with companies like Facebook (Meta), Twitter, and Google, among others. This process was emphasized in curbing the high menace of cyber hacking, information theft, and phishing.

Google Authenticator

In 2017, over 400,000 individual and business accounts were compromised according to, this was part of the revolution of the two-factor authentication system. Facebook introduced it in 2018 but many businesses neglected it till 2019 several businesses started adopting it according to reports.

What is Two Factor Authentication?

Two-factor authentication is an electronic authentication method users grant permission to access logins or make changes on a secured digital platform.

How does it work?

Users are to use email, phone number, or authentication apps like Google or Microsoft to generate a one-time key, it could be in letters or numbers required by a login process to gain access to an account. You can read more on our beginner’s guide to Two Factor Authentication and how to set it up.

You may begin to wonder why Google? Isn’t 2FA a great security tool for any business? Is Google the only app that has the authentication feature? Well, let’s dive in and see why the Google Authentication App has become a major nightmare for several business owners including me.

unable to get google authentication key

Google Authentication is one of the widely used 2FA apps against its major competitor, Microsoft. The app doesn’t provide a cloud-based syncing feature, this means when your phone gets lost you would have a hard time getting into your account.

I bought a new phone, downloaded the authentication app, and went to “import existing account” it directed me to export my data from an old device, how do I get a device that has been stolen? I went online to research ways I can get my previous keys when my phone is lost but was unable to find them.

This caused me to lose an Instagram page with over 300,000 followers, retrieving social media accounts has been one of the most tedious and frustrating things for a user like me. Is Google not aware of this loophole, I guess not, I reached out to a product manager in the community but no response about the issue.

I was curious so I decided to carry out a survey to over 40,000 business owners using Facebook and Instagram 2FA, here are 2 main hypothetical questions involved;

  • Have you lost any account to Google 2FA? (If yes how many?)
  • Were you able to gain access despite not having a security code?

Results concluded that 72% had lost their account in the past and 68% were not able to have access to the account any longer.

So a few weeks ago I decided to download the Microsoft Authentication app on my phone, upon downloading I was able to access all my previous keys. The app allows for cloud-based backup for IOS and android making it very effective for users to recover their previous accounts without using their old phones

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If you’re a business owner using the Google authentication app, it would be advisable for you to migrate to the Microsoft authentication app so as to avoid losing your properties in the future.

Are you currently having issues with google 2FA? Drop your comments and share them with your colleagues cheers!

Pamilerin Coker

Pamilerin Coker is a digital entrepreneur with a keen interest in Marketing, Public Relations, and Media. He's the lead digital strategist and owner of Havgate Digital, a subsidiary of his parent company, Havgate Group.

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