Every day, people around the world access several digital platforms: it could be their social media handle, their Microsoft account, an e-commerce platform, or one of the many instant messaging applications. One must create an account with a username and password to use these platforms. Remember how some platforms showcase a ‘this username is taken’ message? It is to ensure that all the users have unique credentials, which help the platform recognize the users.
While most platforms require only one credential, i.e., the password to let a user log in, some platforms follow advanced security protocols. As a result, these platforms might ask users to set up more than one log-in credential, for instance, two-factor authentication (2FA) via third-party apps such as Microsoft Authenticator. Such applications are called authentication apps and help users increase the security of their digital identities and related information.
In simple words, Microsoft Authenticator App is a tool that provides additional security to users’ digital accounts. Technically, Microsoft Authenticator is the company’s 2FA application that generates unique codes that are required to access linked accounts. Microsoft mentions on the official support page that users can securely back up and restore their account credentials and sign in to non-Microsoft accounts. Just like other authenticating applications such as Google Authenticator or Authy, Microsoft Authenticator generates unique six or eight-digit codes that keep changing every 30 seconds. When users try to log into a linked account, the platform asks for the code generated by the Microsoft Authenticator app.
Set Up Microsoft Authenticator
Android and iOS users can download the Microsoft Authenticator App from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. As the users open it, the application will ask them to create or sign in via a Microsoft account, which will open the security dashboard. As users sign up with their Microsoft account, the application should pick up the account by default. For adding another Microsoft account, users should tap on the three dots at the top right, select ‘Add Account,’ and tap on either ‘Personal Account’ or ‘Work or school account’ and add the account by signing in or scanning a QR code.
To add a non-Microsoft account, tap on the three dots, select ‘Add Account,’ and tap on the ‘Other Account’ option. After that, head over to the platform/website which needs 2FA (it should support sign-in via third-party authenticator apps), locate and select the option to enable 2FA using an app. This should open a QR code/six-digit on the screen or a unique code. Scan the QR code or enter the six-digit code in the Microsoft Authenticator app, assign a name to the account, and that’s it.