Main FAQ Storing your 2FA “manual entry” backup

Storing your 2FA “manual entry” backup

Below is a picture of the window containing both 2FA codes. They are the easily noticeable QR code with the Beaxy logo in the middle of it, and the long alphanumeric code beneath it.

Storing your 2FA "manual entry" backup

While it is not technically necessary, you can make a copy of the cryptographic keys that pair your device with Beaxy’s servers to provide you with temporary 2FA codes. This can be accomplished in a few ways, each of which has its benefits and drawbacks. Essentially these break down into digital or physical backups.

The simplest way to copy and store your keys digitally is by taking a screen shot of the window containing your QR and alphanumeric keys. This has the advantages of being easily transferable, accessible and, if properly backed up, indestructible. The disadvantage of storing anything digitally is that making something easier for you to access theoretically makes it easier for other people to access as well. It is often safest to believe that if the drive your screenshot is stored on is in any way connected to a network that is connected to the internet it is at risk. While it’s likely that this is overly cautious thinking, there is enough truth to it that it bears consideration.

To offset this vulnerability it is recommended that such a file be stored in a way that it is not network accessible unless it is needed. This can be accomplished by burning the file to optical media or copying it to some form of removable storage like a USB drive which can then be stored in a safe place. At this point, however, storing the keys digitally shares the primary drawback of physical storage; namely that you must be able to access it to use it. If it is stored in an office or safe deposit box for example, you may not be able to access the file when you need it.

For some people the uncertain nature of the security of digital files may point them towards a physical backup. What a hard copy lacks in convenience, it makes up for in security. Unless someone is able to take possession of your backup there is no way that they can make a copy of it. If you want the simplicity of the QR code and have access to a printer, you can easily print it out. On the other hand, the alphanumeric key can be copied by hand and never leave a digital footprint again after it leaves your screen.

As there are pros and cons to both methods, it is up to you to decide what level of security you require. We always encourage you to do your own research, there may be other arguments or even other methods that are more suitable to your needs.