Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

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kramer
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Location: Philippines

Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by kramer » Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:42 am

double post

dboeger1
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by dboeger1 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:50 am

I'm not sure how me sharing a real-life personal experience where I almost lost access to a valuable account because of 2FA which I was not intimately aware with due to the fact that neither the account provider nor the TOTP implementation were very transparent about the behavior of the system in the event of a phone trade in is me "going off in the weeds." I'm a relatively tech-savvy person who made this mistake. It's very very easy for both account providers and common users to mess this up and lock somebody out of accounts, which is only bound to be more troublesome when using them internationally. I can't stress this enough. If you want the improved security of something like TOTP, you absolutely 100% must be cognizant of how it works and how you can recover the accounts in case of a lost or otherwise gone device. I don't know how I can make this any clearer besides telling you this almost happened to me.

I know I can sometimes ramble and get caught up in what seem like side discussions, but I very intentionally talked it out with the other "bro" because I believed the discussion couldn't be more relevant to the topic at hand. It is every bit as relevant as setting up a Google Voice account before leaving the country. If you wait till something happens to figure it out, it might be too late. Find out TODAY whether accounts use TOTP or some other similar 2FA scheme, and either move to something "less secure", or understand and be prepared to treat those recovery codes and your devices like gold. As the other poster explained, it can be a fantastic 2FA scheme. It just didn't really fit my life and risk profile.

halfnine
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by halfnine » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:53 pm

I live abroad.

I have a USA google voice number. The SMS text automatically forwards to my non-google email address without a hitch.

I also have a USA Skype number. It is not so good with texts in a timely matter, however any call to this number automatically forwards to my local country mobile number (this forwarding service may not to be available in all countries though). Additionally, I can log into Skype and when I call the USA via Skype the local USA Skype number will show up as the number on the other end.

When possible I do most of my correspondence with financial institutions online and use a VPN utilizing one of their USA locations.

I have a US mail forwarding address that receives my US mail and forwards it to me as required.

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anonsdca
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by anonsdca » Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:58 pm

halfnine wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:53 pm
I live abroad.

I have a USA google voice number. The SMS text automatically forwards to my non-google email address without a hitch.

I also have a USA Skype number. It is not so good with texts in a timely matter, however any call to this number automatically forwards to my local country mobile number (this forwarding service may not to be available in all countries though). Additionally, I can log into Skype and when I call the USA via Skype the local USA Skype number will show up as the number on the other end.

When possible I do most of my correspondence with financial institutions online and use a VPN utilizing one of their USA locations.

I have a US mail forwarding address that receives my US mail and forwards it to me as required.
This pretty much sounds like the path I need to take. One question. I got the Nord VPN recently to test that out, and when I was on the VPN the in and of itself seemed to use the 2FA process? It didn't do it for all financial institutions, but I was guessing because it was a different server than I am used to it triggers the 2FA. That is not too good, if it keeps doing that. I haven't had it that long to know just yet.

anakinskywalker
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by anakinskywalker » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:27 pm

dboeger1 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:05 pm
mptfan wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:39 pm
Pacific wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 4:35 pm
But, I still do not understand how google voice works. How can it send a text to my foreign number?
You do not send a text to your foreign number, you send a text to your google voice number, then you go to voice.google.com from any computer and you can see the text. Also, if you use Gmail and Hangouts (Hangouts is embedded within Gmail on the bottom left of the screen on your computer or as a separate app you can download to your phone) you can set up Hangouts as your default for receiving texts sent to your Google voice number, and you can see the text using Hangouts (hangouts.google.com or the Hangouts app on any device) or when logged in to Gmail the text will pop up anytime you are in Hangouts or Gmail.

You don't need a foreign number or Google Fi or any other number for that matter, you only need a Google voice number. If you have Google Fi then I think your Google voice number can be the same or is the same as your Google Fi number (I think, I'm not 100% sure) or you can use Hangouts as your default for receiving texts using your Google Fi number without needing a separate Google Voice number and you can use Hangouts as your default for all SMS texts that will come to your phone and your computer and any device in which you are logged in using your Google account.
I would like to add that this is a bit complicated by the history of how these different services were developed and merged, so things may work differently depending on how and when you sign up for all of this.

I had Google Voice before it was integrated with Hangouts, but after Google bought it from whatever the company was called before it was acquired, can't remember off the top of my head. Then, at some point, they allowed you to integrate Google Voice with Hangouts, but it was optional. I opted to do that. And eventually, when Google Fi came out (it was originally called Project Fi before they opened it up to BYOD), I signed up for that, which required me to merge my Google Voice number with Fi.

I have no idea if there are any differences in behavior based on whether you had Voice or Fi first, or whether either or both are integrated with Hangouts. I suspect Google has done a good job of converging everyone to the same basic service level, but I have no idea if the way you sign up for these things or the various subsets of functionality that were available at different times are all still available.

Basically, Google Voice is like a virtual phone number with voicemail, text, etc., but its original main selling point was that it had advanced call-handling features, such as different voicemail for different numbers, forwarding of different numbers to different phones, transcription of voicemails to text, etc. And again, this was all sort of a virtual setup ON TOP OF whatever existing phone number(s) you had. So, for example, you might have a small business with 3 employees, and you want different customers to be automatically routed to the mobile numbers of their corresponding account manager whenever they call the virtual business number. Or maybe you want to be able to pick up calls to the virtual business number from both your home phone and your office phone. Or even simpler, you might just want to answer a call from Gmail without needing a phone at all. Google Voice did those things.

Eventually, Fi came along, and it's more or less just a cell service that incorporates all the Google Voice features (at least I hope it does; I believe there was a time early on that certain Voice features were missing when you switched to Fi, and I have no idea if that's still the case, again because of their complicated histories). So if you have Fi, and it's integrated with Hangouts, that means you more or less have Voice already.

The benefit of that is that your Fi number essentially acts as a US phone number, regardless of what you have it set up to do. You can have it forward SMS to your Hangouts, you can answer calls in Hangouts from your PC or tablet or anywhere where it's available, and you can set it up to connect with foreign phones. Regardless, it just looks like a standard US phone number to whoever is contacting it... in this case, services that use it for 2FA. They have no idea that you might be forwarding that SMS to a phone to Bali, or picking up calls on a tablet in London.
It was called GrandCentral.

Anakin

anakinskywalker
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by anakinskywalker » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:35 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:27 am
dboeger1 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:59 pm
I wholly disagree that updating 2FA is a slight inconvenience on getting a new device. I think it's absolutely a deal-breaker.
I share some of your concerns about the hassle factor if your phone is lost or stolen, so I've taken two steps.

1. I saved copies of the QR codes for each of the accounts I loaded into Google Authenticator. These are stored in a VeraCrypt vault.

2. Whenever I added an account to GA on my primary phone, I added the same account to GA on an old phone.

if I lose my primary phone, I can use my old phone to get into all of my accounts, and when I buy a new phone, I can use the saved QR codes to reload accounts into GA on my new phone.
Are you sure about this? In my experience the GA codes from only the latest GA instance you added the QR code to, works. The other GA still generates codes but they don't work. I didn't spend time looking into this though.

Anakin

anakinskywalker
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by anakinskywalker » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:46 pm

anakinskywalker wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:35 pm
CFM300 wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 1:27 am
dboeger1 wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:59 pm
I wholly disagree that updating 2FA is a slight inconvenience on getting a new device. I think it's absolutely a deal-breaker.
I share some of your concerns about the hassle factor if your phone is lost or stolen, so I've taken two steps.

1. I saved copies of the QR codes for each of the accounts I loaded into Google Authenticator. These are stored in a VeraCrypt vault.

2. Whenever I added an account to GA on my primary phone, I added the same account to GA on an old phone.

if I lose my primary phone, I can use my old phone to get into all of my accounts, and when I buy a new phone, I can use the saved QR codes to reload accounts into GA on my new phone.
Are you sure about this? In my experience the GA codes from only the latest GA instance you added the QR code to, works. The other GA still generates codes but they don't work. I didn't spend time looking into this though.

Anakin
I just looked into it. I see your approach now. However I agree with the other poster who recommended Authy instead. GA has made this overly complex and hassle-prone.

https://shieldplanet.com/can-i-use-goog ... e-devices/

jminv
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by jminv » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:19 am

OP, google voice 2FA works fine from overseas.

Schwab will also add an international phone number to your account so you can authenticate by sms/text. Tell them you spend part of the year abroad, obviously not that you live overseas when you ask for it to be added. They’re fairly expat friendly in any case why they have a lot of the features they do.

Vpns can trigger requests to 2FA. So can logging in from other places you usually don’t, travelling etc.

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FOGU
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Re: Two Factor Authentication ---Living Abroad

Post by FOGU » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:18 am

jminv wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:19 am
OP, google voice 2FA works fine from overseas.

Schwab will also add an international phone number to your account so you can authenticate by sms/text. Tell them you spend part of the year abroad, obviously not that you live overseas when you ask for it to be added. They’re fairly expat friendly in any case why they have a lot of the features they do.

Vpns can trigger requests to 2FA. So can logging in from other places you usually don’t, travelling etc.
Yes, Google Voice works for me for this purpose.
VPN changes can trigger the request for the second factor authorization, but a text to my Google Voice message makes it a snap.
Highly recommend VPN not only so that you may virtually appear to be in whatever country you need to appear to be in (for banking, streaming services, etc.), but also for the data encryption security the VPN provides.

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