How do I use mobile-based 2-Factor Authentication while traveling?

It’s just occurred to me that I have mobile-based 2-factor auth for almost all of my critical online accounts.

I’m about to head off from London through multiple countries, so not sure I can rely on my UK phone number to access those accounts.

Has anybody who uses 2-factor auth and regularly moves to different countries found a good solution to this?

I’m not really happy to disable 2-factor as a solution, and so far I’m thinking my best bet might be to set up a Skype number that I can then forward on to any mobile number I’m using at the time.

1 Like

Good news: you don’t need to use your phone number!

Use the Google Authenticator app to generate temporary login tokens. Most sites that support multi-factor auth support this, as well.

This article lists a bunch of sites/services that support Google Authenticator.

Good luck!


Ah yeah good idea - I’ll be switching my accounts to app-based.

On that note, I’m liking the look of Authy as they backup your codes.

Unfortunately, some of the accounts I’d most like to have this security such as PayPal only support SMS! So might have to figure out a forwarding solution for them.

+1 for Authy. I was using Google Authenticator before and when I changed my phone it didn’t move the data.

I have one of the numbers set up for 2-Factor as my Google Voice number. So I get texts to that number with the authentication codes. I also have 10 codes ready to roll in my dropbox.

I don’t actually use 2-factor on anything else.

For what it’s worth, as a security and privacy professional, I would strongly encourage the use of 2-factor authentication for all digital nomads wherever and whenever it is available to you. If your service provides it, turn it on! Static passwords are the albatross of information security.

I’ll +1 Authy because it syncs between devices and allows you to store encrypted backups of authentication tokens (read: ease of use + simple device upgrades), and can also strongly recommend WiKID and DuoSecurity to companies or developers looking to build 2FA into their own networks, products and solutions :smile:

1 Like

I use Google Voice for mobile based 2 factor authentication and then Google Authenticator for access to my Google Voice account. This solution works very well.

2 Likes - new service to allow you to receive SMSs via email.

1 Like