Wiped Google Authenticator and the Paniced Aftermath

And I can’t believe that I’m writing this in TextEdit. Actually. Wiped my Android phone and forgot to setup Google Authenticator on another phone and as I didn’t anticipate I no longer can generate the 2-step code to access LastPass. Without LastPass I don’t know my Gmail password or any other password. And while I my security measure is sound I messed up.

Panicked on a Sunday since I absolutely and completely relay on LastPass for all work password and even personal passwords. No so concerned with personal sites, but I’m freaked about work.

LastPass allows you to turn off the 2-step authentication, but sends an email to your Gmail address with instructions to turn off. And since I don’t know my Gmail password I have to wait 3-5 days before Google will contact me at an alternative email for I don’t know what. And so I think this might be a good thing although slightly painful. At work at least I’ll have to ask for passwords to be reset only for sites that I absolutely need. This may help me understand where to spend my time after this passes.

Avoiding this I’ll need to configure Google Authenticator app on two phones and use a Gmail password I can remember plus have the backup codes for the 2-step authentication. Not exactly streamlined, but until that process breaks it’ll have to do.

A way out dawned on me. My work phone has Gmail configured and I can check email there. Waiting for me was the LastPass email with a link to confirm disabling 2-step authentication. Such a good feeling to read the email click that link and then seeing the confirmation page. And then, finally, was I able to login to LastPass and then to Gmail.

The last step was setting up Google Authenticator on my work phone. Done.