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Authy User: When The Boss Makes You Switch

Every once in a while an Authy user loves us and leaves us, only to find that the grass is not always greener on the other side. This is @markjgardner‘s story.

Authy: Welcome Mark. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Mark: I’m a coder and musician formerly from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

And what’s the crux of your digital life?

Currently, I’m a software developer in Houston, Texas. Since I work from home I spend most of my time during the day working on code, mostly in the Perl programming language. I also talk with my teammates over HipChat or Google Hangouts, participate in several open source projects via GitHub, and share interesting things on social networks. I’ve been working in IT for over 20 years and got my start hacking computers back in the 1980s on a Commodore 64. I’m also a student at Independence University, working on my Computer Science bachelor’s degree.

Being a developer AND a hacker should make you a pretty good judge of security.

In essence…I’m just a user who is concerned with security and privacy. I’d like to remain confident that my information and accounts won’t get hacked or abused, using software to secure them without making it too onerous.

Are you new to 2FA?

Not at all. I’ve known that passwords alone were fundamentally insecure ever since I worked on security infrastructure for a pharmaceutical company in the early 2000’s. At the time, we were using physical tokens that generated one-time codes for access to the company’s virtual private network, and we were looking into smart cards containing certificates for general two-factor authentication, encryption, and digital signatures. When I saw that 2FA using a “soft” token app on a smartphone was becoming an option for online apps like Gmail, I jumped at the opportunity.

Was Authy your first choice?

It wasn’t. I used Google Authenticator at first but soon moved to Authy because it had an easier interface and allowed me to migrate my authentication codes from one phone to another with ease.

Great. We love hearing that users appreciate our UI.  So, you were a happy customer.

I was, but not for long.  I had to leave Authy but it wasn’t my choice.  What prompted the move was that my employer at the time was using a different app and service, and I didn’t want to have more apps on my phone than I needed. So I laboriously went through all the sites I was using with Authy and re-authenticated them with an app by Duo Security.

But you eventually returned to Authy? How long were you away?

I was away for a few months, but then a problem with my phone necessitated that it be reset and reformatted. When I discovered Duo didn’t provide a way to recover my accounts, I was annoyed and decided to switch anything I could back to Authy.

Yeah, losing or switching a phone is stressful enough already. We try to make that process as painless as possible and still keep everything protected. So, how many accounts do you currently use Authy with?

Right now I have 18 accounts protected with Authy.

Pie-in-the-sky question: What 3 features that Authy doesn’t currently provide would you like to see made available?

I miss the Authy Bluetooth feature on my Mac, though I understand it was pulled because of Apple’s changing APIs so often. I’d also like the ability to automatically paste Authy codes into web pages and apps, perhaps via a sharing extension on iOS. 

Thanks, Mark.


About the author Authy

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