Google Authenticator provides an extra layer of security. Since the Google Authenticator app is not tied to your phone number (you'll still need a phone number associated with your Coinbase account in order to buy or sell digital currency), you will be protected even in the event of an attacker compromising your phone number.
When using Google Authenticator for your 2-step verification codes, you will still be protected even if your password is stolen and your phone number is ported. When using Google Authenticator, the only way to generate 2-step verification codes is by physically accessing your Google Authenticator app.
To Enable Google Authenticator on your Coinbase Account
*Before you begin, please note that enabling Google Authenticator will disable both SMS code delivery and Authy tokens - these will no longer work with your Coinbase account. Disabling Google Authenticator will re-enable SMS codes / Authy tokens.
1. Navigate to https://www.coinbase.com/settings/security_settings
2. Select "For more security enable Google Authenticator"
3. Provide a 2-step verification code from a registered app (like Authy) or request code via SMS/text
4. Install and open the Google Authenticator App on your device and scan the QR code displayed
5. Complete setup by entering the code generated on your Google Authenticator app and selecting Enable. Google Authenticator will now be linked to your Coinbase account
To Disable or Remove Google Authenticator from your Coinbase Account
1. Go to https://www.coinbase.com/settings/security_settings
2. Select "You have enabled Google Authenticator"
3. Enter a 2-step verification code from your Google Authenticator app. Once you have entered a valid code, you will be returned to the Security Settings page and Google Authenticator will be removed from your Coinbase account
Troubleshooting Google Authenticator
Please refer to this page for 2-step verification troubleshooting.