Google Authenticator’s Cloud Backup Feature: A Closer Look

In a recently released video, The CryptoDad, a known voice in the realm of cybersecurity and digital privacy, delves into a feature update on Google Authenticator’s app: the new Cloud Backup function. This addition, while seemingly convenient, raises concerns due to its lack of end-to-end encryption. The question is, should you trust it?

What’s New with Google Authenticator?

As a background, Google Authenticator is a widely used application that provides 2-step verification services. The app generates a six to eight digit one-time password (OTP) used in conjunction with your regular login information, providing an additional layer of security.

Recently, Google has introduced a Cloud Backup feature in Authenticator. This allows users to save their OTP secrets to Google’s cloud servers, which can be beneficial in case of loss or theft of the device on which the app is installed. It eliminates the rather complicated process of reconfiguring 2FA for each account in such situations.

The Controversy: No End-to-End Encryption

However, what has prompted CryptoDad’s insightful discussion is the absence of end-to-end encryption for this new feature. For the uninitiated, end-to-end encryption is a security measure where only the communicating users can read the messages. In principle, this prevents potential eavesdroppers – including telecom providers, Internet providers, and even the provider of the communication service – from being able to access the cryptographic keys needed to decrypt the conversation.

The lack of this encryption means that, theoretically, Google (or anyone who gains access to their servers) could access the backed-up OTP secrets. This opens a potential window for security breaches.

Weighing the Pros and Cons with CryptoDad

In his video, CryptoDad, known for his accessible, honest, and insightful tech commentary, methodically weighs the pros and cons of this new feature. He discusses how the convenience of easy recovery needs to be balanced with the risk of potential security breaches due to the lack of end-to-end encryption.

CryptoDad points out that while Google has an overall strong security record, no system is impervious. He encourages users to be aware of the risks involved and to evaluate if the convenience of the cloud backup outweighs the potential security risks for their personal use case.

CryptoDad’s discussion is not just a critique, but a call for users to be informed and responsible. This conversation, he emphasizes, is not just about Google Authenticator but a broader discussion on online security, data privacy, and trust in tech companies.

Final Thoughts

This video is a must-watch for anyone who uses Google Authenticator or is interested in online security. CryptoDad breaks down the issue into simple terms, making the complex world of encryption and data privacy accessible to everyone.

To stay updated on more tech insights and discussions, do remember to like, share, and subscribe to CryptoDad’s YouTube channel. As he rightfully points out, understanding technology and its implications can make a crucial difference in navigating the digital world securely.

Remember, in an age where our lives are increasingly digital, awareness is the first step towards security. Make sure to stay informed and make tech choices that align with your comfort level of risk and convenience. 

Watch the video here for more on Google Authenticator’s Cloud Backup feature and decide whether it’s the right choice for you.

Many Changes!

Images at Right Brain

The past couple of years have seen so many changes for all of our lives. Some good, some not so good. I’m not going to focus on the bad things today, such as pandemics, lockdowns, deaths, and war. I’m going to talk about the good things that have been happening in my life and work.

I moved into a new studio this year. It is going great! The studio is small, but it gives me a place to be creative, and make it my own. If all I was doing was working on my computer, I would not need the studio. That is far from the only thing I have going. Not only does the studio give me a place to do my work, it gives me a place to meet with my clients. I far prefer that over having them come to my home. Helps keep things separate.

I’ve been branching out with my artwork. I’m doing acrylic pouring, digital images, photo manipulation, vinyl cutting, custom mugs, and many other things. A local brewery even offered to let me put some of my artwork on their walls. I’m very excited about that. Nice to have a place to show my work.

The local Macintosh dealer closed. That makes me sad. I loved CityMac. I was a customer of theirs for almost thirty years. Last year, they asked me if I’d be interested in helping any of their customers who want help with software at their home of office. It seemed like a good fit, so I agreed to it. Then early this year they decided that they couldn’t go on, and closed the store. They referred all of their customers to me for software support. It is keeping me busy, but not overwhelming me. I still have time to create my art.

You may have noticed a new page on my site, Purchase My Artwork. It is a direct link to my Fine Art America page. I have several pieces posted there, and you can purchase them in many different formats. I’d love to get some of your feedback.

I started a Substack blog. I will admit that I have not posted much there recently. I’m going to work on that. It is called Strings of Bits and Pieces. There, I talk about many parts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

There are more things in the works. I’m doing my best to make this year a good one for Rick Stringer Creative Services, LLC.

Branching Out

2021 has been a year of change. At the end of 2020, I stopped working for Corbin Design as an employee. I do still contract some work with Corbin, but I'm free to pursue more things as Rick Stringer Creative Services, LLC. Sorry I have not kept up with this blog. My intent is for that to change. Starting with this post.

One thing that I've been working on is expanding my own creative work. My past work has always leaned heavily towards realistic artwork. That is how it all started. Here are a couple of examples of my artwork from early in my career.

Currus Celerrimus
Out of the Shadows

My career evolved from the airbrush to the computer. That is primarily what I did at Corbin Design.

This year, I decided to try something totally different. Something out of my comfort zone. Acrylic pouring. It is abstract work, and as far from realistic as you can get. To be honest, I’m loving it. Here are some examples.


So, now I have some questions for you. Do you like this new direction? Is this artwork something you would pay for? Should I start selling these pieces on-line?

I’m looking for some honest feedback here. You can comment on this page, or you can send me an email at: Contact.

Thank you for taking the time to look at my post, and if you give me some feedback, I will be so very grateful!

A New Beginning

Hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Rick Stringer, and I’ve been active in the creative arts industry since 1984.

My journey began in Los Angeles with the purchase of an airbrush, a tool I instantly fell in love with. Initially, I taught myself how to use it, and later enrolled in a couple of classes at Otis College of Art and Design, which turned out to be a transformative experience. I only took two classes there, but these significantly shaped my career.

My airbrush instructor was a graffiti artist named Barry Farr. Sadly, we’ve lost touch, but his mentorship and teachings have stayed with me over the years. One day in class, while observing my photo-realistic illustration, Barry mentioned a potential job opportunity. As a young individual kickstarting my career, this was an exhilarating proposition.

Barry had secured a project involving the new construction along Wilshire Blvd, between L.A. and Beverly Hills. The plan was to adorn the temporary protective wall for pedestrians with a mural. Together, we painted realistic, life-sized people on 4′ x 8′ panels in his studio. The sheer quantity of these panels was enough to cover one side of a city block. This project was a wonderful experience and served as the launchpad for my career.

I later relocated to the Chicago area and joined a small advertising and marketing firm, R N Johnson and Associates. This became another crucial stepping stone in my career. In their office was a Macintosh, which was introduced just a year prior. I had no idea then how that small machine would revolutionize my life. During my tenure, I created production artwork and learned as much as I could about the Mac.

Upon my brother’s persuasion, I explored the market in Grand Rapids, Michigan. There, I joined a design firm, Michael VanderWall Design, which was also interested in Macintosh. It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of the graphic arts industry and the Mac.

However, as the company began to face difficulties, I started searching for new opportunities. That’s when I came across an ad that perfectly matched my skills. The company was Corbin Design, located in Traverse City, Michigan. Although I had earlier vowed never to live farther north than Grand Rapids, after receiving high recommendations about Corbin Design, I decided to take a leap of faith and sent in my resume and portfolio.

To my delight, they invited me to Traverse City and offered me a job on the very day of my interview. Unable to resist the opportunity, I moved to Traverse City with my wife and small son in 1992.

Over the years, I have honed my skills. As the Vice President and Technology Director for Corbin Design, I’ve worked on illustrations, maps, and Filemaker database designs, while managing all the company’s computers. Now, after nearly 30 years at Corbin Design, I’m ready for a new challenge.

If your small business needs help with artwork, database design, or Macintosh computer assistance, I’m the person you’re seeking.

Thank you for reading this far, and I hope we can collaborate to create something wonderful.