2FA Backup - Do I need it?

Today I read an article in the NYTimes Wirecutter. I don’t know if the article is unclear or if creeping senility has finally caught up with me. The bolded text below seems to say, backing up 2FA is a good idea, but I don’t understand why. If I lose my iPhone can’t I just buy another, enter my Apple ID during the setup, and restore from the last iCloud backup?

Below the bolded text is a link to the NYTimes item containing the bolded text.

If you use a [two-factor authentication app (and you should), you can back that up, too. As much as I love chatting with the folks at The New York Times Security team, I’m sure they’d have preferred I’d done this rather than calling them in a panic unable to access my email. Duo Mobile, the 2FA app we recommend, offers a backup and syncing option that keeps you from being locked out if you lose your phone—just make sure to enable it.

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Gordon, d’ya think they’re just trying to sell the app?

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Yes, you can. And so can I, because we backup to iCloud. She didn’t.

The first thing I noticed that seemed strange: I dropped my iPhone 6. I have to wonder if that isn’t a typo. The iPhone 7 came out toward the end of 2016.

I found this significant: figure out how to restore access to my two-factor authentication app so that I could use my email. In other words, the problem only happened because of using a two-factor authentication app. I do most of my email through the web site using a browser on my computer, so even if I was missing having email at my fingertips everywhere I could still use it.

Then we get to the heart of it. I didn’t back up my misplaced iPhone. Now the iPhone 6 seems less unusual.

I also, not often and on no particular schedule, connect my iPhone to my PC with a cable and use File Explorer to copy all the new photos to my PC. (I have a vague memory of running some sort of general backup with that connection, but too long ago to have details.)


Thanks – I guess I have a bit more time before I need to leave a trail of crumbs to find my way back from the grocery store.