Gareth Johnson
Gareth Johnson
Updated on October 27, 2021

If you’re a cryptocurrency user, you surely must have heard of Binance by now. Binance is one of the most renowned and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. They offer cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC) and over 150 other altcoins including Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC). Binance was originally launched in China, but their real success came when they partnered with Binance.US in 2019 to broaden their client base and to explore a new market.

You can purchase cryptocurrencies with fiat money and vice versa or you can trade one crypto for another on the Binance exchange. They offer lower fees than other competitors like Coinbase and the Binance crypto exchange apps are available for mobile (Android and iOS) and desktop (Windows, macOS, and Linux)

Rather than talking about Binance as an exchange, today, we’ll talk about the Binance 2FA (two-factor authentication) system. Keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial on enabling the two-factor authentication system for account security on Binance.

What Is 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication)?

The 2FA or the two-factor authentication system works as an additional layer of protection. It features 2 locks or protection factors that ensure that it’s really you that’s logging into your Binance account.

Vector illustration of 2-factor authentication using sms

These protective factors are split into three categories; 

  • The user’s knowledge of a password 
  • The device that is utilized by the user, most commonly a mobile phone.
  • A biometric form of protection such as a fingerprint scanner or face ID scanner. 

In order for your account to be secure through two-factor authentication, you will need to verify your identity through 2 protection factors in order to gain access. The main protective factors on Binance are a user password, and an SMS or Google authentication code. If you want additional security from an external app, you can download the Authy app as an alternative for the second factor of user authentication.

The Difference Between SMS and Google Authentication

SMS Code

SMS authentication is pretty straightforward. Upon creating your account, you provide your mobile phone number. When you sign into your Binance account, the service sends an SMS to your phone with a verification code that expires after a short while. You copy this number into the verification pop-up on the exchange and you’re allowed access to your account. 

The pros are that it is very easy to use and it’s very convenient when compared to other verification measures, as this method doesn’t require external applications for account security. The cons are the fact that mobile phones can be fooled and accessed by other parties and don’t offer as much security as the Google authentication measure. Plus, the SMS method requires constant cellular reception.

Google Backup Key

When you enable Google authentication, you will be given a backup key (top-secret key). The Binance app itself later generates OTPs (one-time password) at fixed intervals and uses the backup key as a seed for these passwords. When you want to gain access to your account, these OTPs will be required for verification.

The pros of Google authentication are the strong encryption that it offers and the fact that it doesn’t need cellular reception or WiFi to operate, as instead, it creates an offline backup with a 6-digit verification code. The cons are that if by any chance you lose your mobile device, you will remain locked out of your account unless your backup key is stored somewhere else. Plus, this method requires an additional external app to function, unlike the SMS method.

How to Set Up 2FA With SMS Authentication

To set up an SMS authentication just scroll your way to the account dashboard on the Binance app and select Security > 2-factor authentication and click on it. There will be a prompt next to the box that says SMS authentication that says Enable. Needless to say, this is the start of enabling SMS authentication. 

Vector illustration of computer monitor with password on screen beside phone with SMS authentication on green background

The first thing that will be required is your country code (+XXX) for your mobile number and it should be entered into the provided field. Once the details have been provided, just click the Send SMS button. Almost instantly after clicking the send SMS prompt, you will receive an SMS with the authentication code. Write out the verification code into the provided field and click on Enable SMS authentication. After this is completed, you are set and your SMS authentication is operational. This means it’ll be activated every time you try to log into your Binance account.

How to Set Up 2FA With Google Authentication 

The process for activating Google authentication is the same as SMS authentication, except it has an additional step. Just scroll your way to the account dashboard on the Binance app and select security and under this dashboard find 2-factor authentication and click on it. There will be a prompt next to Google authentication that says Enable. This will begin the process of enabling Google authentication.

If the Google Authenticator App isn’t installed on your device, you can download it using the link that’s provided in the window. Once the download and installation are complete, you can move on to the next step. 

The next step is scanning the QR code that is on your Binance account. Simply open the Google Authenticator app on your device and click on the Scan QR code prompt. Then, your camera will turn on and you will need to scan the provided barcode with your device. If your device doesn’t have a functional camera, you can select the Enter a provided key prompt. As soon as this step is completed, you can proceed to the next step – a backup code.

You will see a prompt on the screen for a backup code to enable Google Authenticator. It’s recommended that you write this code on a piece of paper and store it somewhere safe because this is the code that can reset your Google Authenticator in case you lose your device. Once you safely store the backup code, you can proceed to the next step – enabling Google Authenticator.

In the final window, you will be asked to enter your account password and the 6-digit code that’s displayed on the Google Authenticator to finish the process of enabling this 2FA method for your Binance account. After completing these steps, your account should be secure with two-factor authentication.

How to Set Up Authy 2FA

Although you need to enable Google Authenticator from your Binance dashboard, you’ll later download the Authy app and use it for 2FA instead.

When you finish downloading the app on your mobile device, click on Next Step and a QR code will pop up. Open the app on your mobile device and leave the page running on your PC. On the Authy app, you will find the Add Account window located at the bottom. Click on the prompt and your camera will open. Scan the QR code on your monitor and it will automatically set up your Binance 2FA. 

vector illustration of signing in account on laptop on yellow background

After the QR code is scanned, you will be asked to name your Binance account (Account-1 or something of your choice) and after naming it, simply click on the Done prompt. The account will appear in your Authy app along with a 6-digit numerical token.

Connecting Authy to Binance

Once you’ve completed your Authy credentials, return to the Binance web page to finish enabling 2FA. The next step will have you record a 16-digit alphanumeric code that’s your backup key. Just as with Google Authentication, save this number or write it on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place. Once this is done, select Next Step.

To complete your 2FA security, you will need to input the following information in the provided fields: the 16 digit key from earlier, your Binance account password, and your 6 digits numeric key from the Authy app. When all the information is correctly filled out, just click on Enable Google Authentication. When this is completed, your account will be protected by the Authy 2FA.

A Few Words Before You Go…

Account security is an important matter and you should do everything in your power to protect your account, your personal information, and the cryptocurrency you have stored in that exchange. Most users would choose the simplest form of protection and that’s the SMS authentication option, but we recommend you take the more complex path and enforce a stronger 2FA protection for your accounts like Google Authentication or the external Authy app.

Hopefully, we helped you get a clearer picture of what two-factor authentication means and the different ways you can enable it. We showed you three different ways that you can comfortably buy and sell crypto knowing that only you can access your account thanks to the protective measures that you’ve enforced. Just remember not to lose your backup key because that can be a sticky situation to get out of – if you can get out of it at all.