How do I set up 2-factor authentication?

Jun 05, 2017

Coinbase provides several options for generating 2-factor authentication (2FA) codes:

  • Google Authenticator (more secure)
  • Authy App
  • SMS/Text codes (less secure)
This page describes the setup process for each 2FA type.
 

Google Authenticator or similar

Google Authenticator or similar authenticator apps provide the most secure configuration for 2FA. It does not require phone reception or internet access once it has been set up. It is not associated with your phone number (although we do require a phone number to be registered to buy or sell digital currency) so it is not susceptible to phone number porting attacks.

You can learn about enabling and disabling Google Authenticator here: Managing Google Authenticator
 

Authy App

Important: Please verify your phone number with your Coinbase account before installing the Authy App.

When using the Authy app, you won't need to have phone reception or internet access on the device to generate codes - it all happens offline. You can also install the Authy app on multiple devices to receive codes however is most convenient for you.

Using an app also provides the ability to easily change phone numbers and has the added benefit of securely syncing with Authy. This means that if you lose your phone, your 2FA code generator will be easily recoverable, but you will also no longer be able to receive SMS codes.


Authy for Android or iOS

The Authy app for Android can be downloaded from the Google Play store here. If you use iOS, you can get it from the Apple App Store here. The setup procedure is the same for either app.

Please verify your phone number before you installing the Authy App. If you have already installed the app, you will need to uninstall it, then reinstall after your phone number has been verified on your Coinbase account.
 

1. Verify your phone number with Coinbase

If you have already verified a phone number with Coinbase, skip to part 2.
  • Sign in to your Coinbase account​ by going to https://www.coinbase.com/signin.
  • Once signed in, go to Settings > Security (at the top) and click the 'Verify A Phone' button (https://www.coinbase.com/settings/security_settings).
  • Provide the phone number that you'd like to use and click Next. For the best experience, please use a cell phone. Landlines are not supported for receiving 2FA codes. Note that there will now be a new dialog displayed in your browser to complete verification of this phone.

2. Install the Authy App

  • On your phone's browser, go to authy.com/install. You'll be redirected to the appropriate app store for your phone.
  • Install the app on your phone (the exact procedure may vary depending on your device).
  • Launch the Authy app. When prompted during setup, enter the phone number you have verified on Coinbase and press OK.
  • Choose to receive either a phone call or SMS to retrieve a verification code.
  • Check your phone for the SMS or voice message sent by Authy. Note that the number that the code comes from may vary.
  • Enter the registration pin that was sent to you via SMS/voice into the Authy app.
  • Your phone is now a secure token for your Coinbase account and the Authy app should now have a Coinbase entry. Your Coinbase account will be synced with Authy through your phone number.
  • The setup process is now complete. 2FA codes will be available under the Coinbase entry in the Authy app and can no longer be sent via SMS or Voice.


Authy for Chrome Browser (Windows/Linux/Mac)

The Authy app for Chrome allows you to generate 2-step verification codes on any computer with the Chrome browser installed. This is suggested if you don't have a smartphone. It will be necessary to follow the procedure below for every new computer you wish to set up with the Authy app.

1. Verify your phone number with Coinbase

If you have already verified a phone number with Coinbase, skip to part 2.
  • Sign in to your Coinbase account​ by going to https://www.coinbase.com/signin.
  • Once signed in, go to Settings > Security (at the top) and click the 'Verify A Phone' button (https://www.coinbase.com/settings/security_settings).
  • Provide the phone number that you'd like to use and click Next. For the best experience, please use a cell phone. Landlines are not supported for receiving 2-step verification codes at this time. Note that there will now be a new dialog displayed in your browser to complete verification of this phone.

2. Install the Authy App

  • In a new Chrome browser tab, go to the Authy app's page in the Chrome Web Store and click the +Free button to install the Authy app.
  • Click Add in the confirmation dialog to complete the installation.
  • Launch the Authy app from the Chrome App Launcher menu.
  • In the Authy app, provide the phone number you just verified and click OK.
  • On the next screen, select either Call or SMS to receive a verification code and follow the prompts.
  • The setup process is now complete. 2FA codes will now be available under the Coinbase entry in the Authy app.
  • (Optional, but highly recommended) Set a Master Password in the Authy app. This will prevent a hacker from accessing your 2FA codes if your computer were to be stolen or compromised. Complete this by clicking the gear icon on the top left and filling in the Master Password section.
 

Receiving codes via SMS

If you do not wish to install the Authy app, you can still receive 2FA codes via SMS text message. If you verify a phone number via text message without installing any Authy apps, this will be automatically configured. You can do this by completing the initial phone steps in this article.

Note: If you have any Authy apps installed or Google Authenticator registered, you'll no longer be able to receive SMS codes. To begin receiving codes via SMS again, you'll have to remove the Authy app from all of your devices first. If you've lost your device or otherwise cannot uninstall the app, you will have to perform a phone reset with Authy via this link: https://www.authy.com/phones/reset. Once that has been completed, you should be able to receive SMS codes again.
 


Landlines

Unfortunately, it's not currently possible to receive 2FA codes delivered to a landline phone number by voice call.  However, you can still verify a landline number on your account and generate 2FA codes by referring to the steps in the 'Chrome Browser' section above and linking your landline phone number to the Authy Chrome App. 
 

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