Google’s offering two-step authentication with a physical key

It’s probably a good idea for you to enable two-step authentication on all our devices as soon as possible, what with all the breaches to various services’ security that have happened recently. Just in case using codes is not your thing, Google has an alternative: a physical key that can authenticate your log-in.

The device, known as the Security Key, is a USB device that plugs into your computer so you don’t have to rely on a security code from a text message or an authentication app. It also means that you can carry it around on your keys and gain access to your account from a strange machine even if you don’t have your phone with you.

The idea behind it is that that two-step authentication is no longer as secure as it once was, especially since lookalike sites can trick people into handing over their log-in information. The Security Key is encrypted in such a way that you can’t do that, since it’s been programmed to only work with pre-approved sites.

The Security Key is available to buy from Amazon for £5. Sadly it’s a Chrome only tool, so if you’re using Firefox, IE, or Safari, you’re out of luck.

Tom Pritchard