I am annoyed. Very annoyed. Partially because it’s somewhat self inflicted. Before I tell you the story, let me give you some background info…
I’d like to consider myself somewhat proactive when it comes to web security; I frequently update my account passwords to the max accepted length, store them in a password manager so I don’t have to remember them, and also use 2FA when ever it’s offered as an option.
2FA, or two factor authentication, is an added layer of security applied to web accounts such that having the username and password is no longer enough to login from a new device.
Instead, you also need a random code, one which is generated through an app linked to the online account in question. These codes only last for a few seconds and are only generated on my mobile, so unless you know my username, password and have my phone on your person as you attempt to log in, you cannot get access to my account.
In simple terms – it’s an added layer of security for your online accounts where you have to be present for any new login attempts to be made.
There are plenty of online services that offer it up to users – one of which is Snapchat. Anyway, that’s enough background info, lets move onto the story.
The last few days here in Calgary have brought a pretty sizable amount of snow. Not only that, but the temperatures are quite cold, sitting somewhere around the -18c mark. This makes it the perfect time to get in some sledding.
So, off we went to the local sledding hill and had ourselves about 90 minutes worth of slipping fun. Not wanting to damage or lose my phone, I left it in the car for safe keeping. Unfortunately the temperatures in the car quickly dropped, meaning the phone may as well have been left outside.
When I get back, I give it a quick check only to find that not only is it freezing, but that I’ve got a few messages I should reply to. So, I turn on the car to let it heat up a bit while I get changed and put all the stuff back into the boot.
Before heading back home, I decided to reply to the aforementioned messages. I’m not half a sentence into the first message before the phone just shut itself off – not an unusal thing for freezing cold phones to do; batteries don’t really work in severe cold. So I just stick the phone back in my pocket and head home.
When I get home I charge and turn back on my phone only to find that it has totally reset itself. I still have all my apps and stuff, but all the data and login’s for each app are all totally gone – including Snapchat and my 2FA app…
For most of my 2FA accounts, I can get around losing the link between them because I’m already logged in on my computer. I just go to the website in question, re-sync the account to my 2FA app, and use that to log back in on my phone. Easy.
But Snapchat is a mobile only app, meaning I’m not logged in anywhere else to re-sync my settings.
As of now, I’m totally locked out with no way to get back in. I’ve scowered the Snapchat support website for some tips but have come up with nothing. They do have a twitter support team, but they just straight up aren’t replying to my messages.
Right now it looks like the only way I can get into my account is to have a “recovery code” which you get from the app, ideally before you need it. Admittedly, I don’t have that code. I have nobody to blame but myself for that.
But that’s not why I’m annoyed. I’m annoyed because my phone reset itself. I’m annoyed because it took me over a hour to get it all set up again. I’m annoyed because Snapchat support are just ignoring me. Mostly I’m annoyed because it’s looking highly likely that I’m going to lose access to my account, the very thing I was trying to avoid by setting up 2FA in the first place.
If anyone wants to sent me over an iPhone 7+ so this doesn’t happen again, I’d not say no.