The best tips for Microsoft Authenticator

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The main purpose of the Microsoft authenticator is to authenticate yourself using two-factor authentication (2FA for short). When you sign up for online shopping, in your e-mail inbox or on social media, you prove that you really are who you say you are. In addition, Microsoft has now given the app a practical password management system.

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Microsoft Authenticator: Why Two-Factor Authentication?

Usually, it is sufficient to log into an online account with a username and password, that is, using single-factor authentication. But that’s not safe enough. Because even the most complex password cannot protect an online account from an intruder once it has fallen into the hands of criminals through data theft. With a 2FA, you need to provide two things before you can gain access, such as your password and a numeric code on your smartphone. No question about it: the 2FA makes registering for services more complex. With the help of the Microsoft Authenticator app, however, the additional effort is very low. Here you will receive a message on your smartphone via which you can simply accept or reject the registration. It couldn’t be simpler or safer. Especially since the app informs you if someone tamperes with your accounts.

Microsoft Authenticator: 2FA for Microsoft accounts

With Microsoft accounts, switching to the authenticator is of course particularly easy:
  1. If necessary, download the app from the relevant app store onto your mobile phone.
  2. You have to allow notifications so that the app can show a notification if necessary in order to start an approval.
  3. Then sign in with your Microsoft account, which you also use to sign in to Windows 10.
  4. To activate two-factor authentication, log in to account.live.com with your Microsoft access data, which you also use when you log on to Windows. Then click on above security.
  5. In the Security section, click below under Two-Step Verification Activate. Then follow the further instructions.
  6. The authenticator app is now set up. Now log in to other services such as OneDrive, enter the login data of your Microsoft account as usual. The message “Check Microsoft Authenticator” appears. Seconds later, the message “Approve registration” will appear on your smartphone. In it, tap To permit. Don’t worry, you still don’t need a two-step login to log in to Windows 10.

Use Microsoft Authenticator for other accounts

You can also use the app to log into other services, provided they support the OTP process. These are, for example, Amazon, PayPal, Facebook, Google and Dropbox. Using the example of Amazon, COMPUTER BILD shows how it works:
  1. Log into Amazon on your PC.
  2. click on Account and lists, My account, Register and security, Advanced security settings, to the right of “Settings for the two-step verification (2SV)” Edit and First steps.
  3. Follow the instructions.
  4. Record the QR code with the mobile phone camera and confirm the security message with Continue.
  5. The app then shows you a six-digit code that you enter on the PC on the website.
  6. On the “Register a 2SV Authenticator” page, select the item Authentication app the end. A QR code appears.
  7. Now open the Authenticator app on your smartphone, tap the “+” symbol in the upper right corner and then tap Other.
  8. In the next step, Amazon offers to exempt certain devices such as your own computer from two-factor authentication, which is more practical in everyday life. To do this, activate “This browser does not require OTP” and click on Finished.
  9. Enable two-step verification.

Microsoft Authenticator as a password manager

You can also use the authenticator app to store your passwords. That is how it goes:
  1. In the main menu, tap in the lower right corner Passwords. Confirm via Sync with …that the app should synchronize with the paired Microsoft account. In this case, the app automatically adopts the login data from the Edge browser (if available).
  2. If you use Google Chrome on your smartphone, you can easily import the passwords saved there into the authenticator vault. To do this, tap on the three lines in the top left, then on settings as well as on Import passwords. Choose Import directly from Google Chrome, and follow the instructions on the authenticator app.
  3. So that the authenticator appears automatically when you enter passwords, follow the instructions in the settings of the authenticator under Enable auto-fill. Once that’s done, the authenticator can insert your login data, such as user name and password, into almost all apps and browsers on the smartphone.
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