ALWAYS back up your 2fa codes
Hey guys just wanted to write a short article to emphasize an important point and hopefully save you the time and headache of my experience. I was ignorant and should have been better prepared.
So if you're like me you probably have a wallet that uses 2fa. I have several accounts that require 2fa that i use google authenticator for. I ran across an issue a few weeks back though and wanted to make everyone aware of what can happen if you don't back up your 2fa codes. To be clear, i never really learned much about 2fa and just downloaded the authenticator app and started using it without reading any instructions. A few weeks ago i dropped my phone and the screen went black. i was temporarily locked out of all accounts that used 2fa but fortunately had an old phone laying around so i just inserted my SIM card into it, charged the battery, and started it up. I went to my icloud account and restored all my apps and settings to the phone and figured i was good to go. i was wrong. I opened my authenticator app and to my dismay it had none of my accounts listed.
For many of the wallets and accounts i use it with there are recovery methods for issues like this but not for all. On top of that the recovery process can be a headache and very time consuming. The main account i was worried about was with nitrogensports.eu - a bitcoin only sports wagering website. i had quite a bit of bitcoin in my account there and after some research found out that they have NO account recovery measures in place. If you get locked out, its over and that bitcoin is gone forever. I was frantic in trying to figure out what to do next. How was i going to manage to recover this account ? My only hope was to get my broken phone fixed IF it was even fixable. Fortunately, the local phone repair shop was able to install a new screen and get me back up and running again but it taught me a valuable lesson. ALWAYS back up your 2fa codes preferably with a hard copy or an offline device. Nitrogen does not offer recovery codes so in this case i printed a picture of the QR code in case something like this ever happens again.
With most wallets or accounts, at the time of enabling two-factor authentication you'll be promoted to download some recovery codes. It's extremely important for you to download, save, or write down these codes as they are your only resource to get back into your account if you ever lose or damage the device you enabled 2fa on. Remember, keep these in a safe place, preferably on a device not connected to the internet and don't share your codes with anyone! In the rare case that recovery codes aren't offered, print a copy of the QR code. Take these simple measures to save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the event of a lost or broken phone.