Dear Lifehacker, I have an online savings account with an Australian bank that uses SMS codes for verification and login. However, it only allows Australian mobile numbers. I find this very restrictive: what if I travel overseas but don't want to activate global roaming? Is there any way I can work around this? Thanks, SMS Bound
Phone picture from Shutterstock
We're big fans of two-factor authentication and sending a code via SMS is one of the most straightforward methods, but you've neatly highlighted one of its flaws: it requires you to always have access to your messages. That means that if you go overseas and don't enable roaming, or if you misplace your phone, you're out of luck.
Assuming your bank doesn't offer alternative options (such as choosing to opt out of two-factor or using a different device to generate the code), there's no obvious way of working around this, other than choosing a different bank.
Whether it's a big issue will depend on how much you like your current service, and how often you need the codes. My bank uses verifications when adding a new biller, but not for routine logins, for instance -- since I'm not likely to add a new biller while I'm overseas, it's not a major restriction. I'd love to hear how other readers handle this issue in the comments.
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