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How do I set up two-factor authentication (2FA)?
How do I set up two-factor authentication (2FA)?
Updated this week

Guideline cares about the security of your account. That’s why we require two-factor authentication (2FA) as an additional layer of security. In addition to your password, this security measure will be requested at certain times when you log into your Guideline account.

Here's a guide to help you set up and manage your two-factor authentication.

How do I enable two-factor authentication?

You’ll have the option to receive your 2FA access codes through text messages or an authenticator app. You can also choose to set up both methods, which can provide flexibility and be helpful if you lose access to a device or change your phone number in the future.

To get started:

  1. Log into your dashboard, and click on your name or the hamburger options button in the top right-hand corner.

  2. Select Account settings, within the drop-down menu, then scroll down to the Two-factor authentication (2FA) section.

  3. Click the “Enable 2FA button” and follow the prompts.

2FA via text message

To set up 2FA text messages, you will follow the steps below. Note, authentication via text messaging is only available for US and Canada-based phone numbers. Please use an authenticator app if you have a number based outside of these locations.

  1. Select “Send me a text” to receive a 6-digit verification code.

  2. Enter the phone number where you would like to receive text messages for authorization, then click “Confirm.” This number will be used for two-factor authentication purposes only.

  3. Type the 6-digit code you receive from Guideline’s text into the webpage prompt.

Once the code is entered, you have successfully set up your two-factor authentication with Guideline. Each time 2FA is required moving forward, you’ll receive a new text to your phone number with the verification code.

2FA via an authenticator app

If you’d like to use an authenticator app, follow the steps below:

  1. Download an authenticator app of your choosing on your mobile device. Here are some trusted examples:

  2. Select “Authenticate with an app” to populate a QR code.

  3. Open the authenticator app on your mobile device and scan the QR code that appears on your Guideline profile. You may have to go to the app’s settings and select “Add a new account” to find the QR code scanner.

    • If you cannot scan the QR code, a manual code can be inputted into your authenticator app and will also generate a unique 6-digit code.

  4. Type the 6-digit code that appears next to “Guideline, Inc.” in your authenticator app into Guideline’s prompt. Codes are refreshed regularly and only valid for a short time. If your code is expired, revisit the authenticator app to view the refreshed code.

Once the code is entered, you have successfully set up your two-factor authentication with Guideline. Each time 2FA is required moving forward, you’ll need to visit your authenticator app to retrieve the new code. You will not receive a pop-up notification or text.

Setting up both options

If you’d like to set up both 2FA methods, visit the 2FA section again and complete the process for the alternate option. Once setup, you’ll be able to select how you’d like to retrieve your 2FA codes each time they’re required for login.

When will I need to input two-factor authentication?

You'll receive a prompt for two-factor authentication when logging in from a new device. If you would like, you can choose to remember that device for future logins. For security reasons, we will also ask you to verify your account using the two-factor authentication on a semi-regular basis.

In addition to setting up two-factor authentication, the Department of Labor has shared other ways to reduce the risk of fraud and loss to your retirement savings. See their online security tips.

What if I have more than one Guideline account?

If you have access to more than one Guideline account, such as a 401(k) and an IRA, once you enable 2FA, the setting will apply across all your linked accounts.

How do I make changes to my two-factor authentication preferences?

If you currently have access to your account, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on your name in the top right-hand corner.

  2. Select Account Settings, within the drop-down menu, then scroll down to the Two-factor authentication section.

  3. Click the “Edit 2FA” button and follow the prompts.

What if my two-factor authentication isn’t working?

If you’re having trouble accessing your account, check out our two-factor authentication troubleshooting tips.

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