Today, almost every other online service offers a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). This particularly applies to online banking and when you use your Credit Card or MasterCard to make a payment for your online shopping.
In addition, most of these services also offer recovery codes. These codes are used when you gain access to your account if the usual identification method is not working if you don’t have your phone near you, or if you forgot the account password.
That is why it’s important that you store recovery codes in a safe place, somewhere you can access them anytime.
What Are Recovery Codes?
First and foremost, let’s understand what exactly recovery codes are. They’re a failsafe. In other words, it’s a way where the user can override security measures placed on an online account or service.
These recovery codes are generated randomly and only applicable for single-us. Most recovery codes are usually 16 digits long. You are usually given a single code, there’s the one-off chance of receiving several, especially when you set up a 2FA for your Google account.
If you’re given more than one code, you can use any to authenticate your login. 2FA requires an alternate way if you want to authenticate access, which is usually done on a different device. For instance, if that device is inoperable or lost, you can easily lose access to your account for good.
Recovery codes are used as a backup when you need an alternative way to authenticate your access, such as when the 2FA isn’t working for you.
What about services like your cloud storage? Well, recovery codes are used similarly. It’s often linked to your digital account passwords, and if you were to forget it, the recovery code or key will prove that you’re indeed the owner of the account.
No matter what digital service or account you have ever come for, you need to keep them in a safe place at all times.
Where to Store Your Recovery Codes?
It’s important for you to stroke your recovery code at a safe place, and definitely, somewhere you can remember and easily access it. Here are some options you can consider:
Print Them Out
Many people feel that storing recovery codes, or even passwords on a piece of paper is perhaps the most secure option. Why?
Well, paper cannot be accessed by anyone remotely, nor can it be hacked. Of course, you can lose that piece of paper, but you can also choose to print multiple copies of them. You can keep one at home, while the poetry can be in your wallet or bag.
As long as you don’t keep your recovery codes with your log-in details, there’s literally nothing someone can do if they get a hold of it. However, if you’ve stored your passwords alongside them, then there’s a chance of your account being hacked.
Although this method is not one that is technologically advanced, it’s an easy method.
Store Them in the Cloud
This is yet another good way of storing your recovery codes, which is to store them in your cloud storage. Of course, you need to make sure it won’t need a 2FA.
Now, storing your recovery codes in the cloud means you can always access them with high-speed internet such as AT&T Internet. In other words, you should always have access to the internet if you want to access your recovery code from your cloud storage.
You can either use your current cloud storage or sign up for a free cloud storage account. You can put your recovery codes in a PDF or text file, and the file always has a random name. You should rename the file to something memorable, and something less obvious.
Similar to keeping your receiver codes and login details separately, this also applies to when you keep your recovery code in the Cloud. This way, you won’t need to hide the files as well.
Store Them on a USB
There are a couple of benefits to storing your recovery codes on a USB flash drive. Firstly, no one can hack the USB and steal your recovery codes, as it’s not accessed through an internet connection. Moreover, they’re easy to bring around.
Most USB drives have a loop that can be attached to a keyring. And it’s really rare for you to leave your keys lying around, so your USB will nevertheless be safe. If you do choose this option, you can consider investing in a high-quality USB.
It’s smart to choose one that has a metal body so as to avoid it from being broken. Furthermore, you can also password-protect your USB drive, or choose to encrypt it with an encryption tool. That said, you’re only going to have to remember another additional password.
All in All
We can all agree that it’s important to have recovery codes for your 2FA, but more than just that, you need to store them in an accessible place.
In fact, you should avoid storing your recovery codes at a place where anyone can access them. For instance, many of us have a habit of sticking sticky notes on our laptops or monitors, and it’s physically possible for anyone to use them while you’re away from your desk.
Therefore, if you were to use a combination of the places we shared above, your recovery codes will be safe and always accessible to you. You need to understand which method applies best to you and take advantage of any available tools, such as current cloud storage or a USB thumb drive that has been lying around forever.
We hope this article was helpful to you and if you know of other places where you can store recovery codes safely, please feel free to share them in the comment section below!