WHAT THE TECH— What if you could use a password with 13 characters, letters, numbers, special characters and use a different combination for every online account you have? And what if you could change those passwords every time you log-in. Pretty secure right? That’s the idea behind security keys. Small devices that plug into a computer or tap on the back of a phone. They use biometrics to unlock your accounts. And now, they’re going to be able to work on iPhones.
Yubikeys use fingerprints to unlock email, credit card, banking or social media accounts or password managers. Just plug the device into a computer’s USB port, and tap the bronze button. Yubikey enters a long temporary password which will change the next time you log in. On Android phones, it requires you just tap the key on the back of the phone where it unlocks the account using near field communication.
The forthcoming YubiKey for iPhones and iPads will use a lightning jack.
The devices work in conjunction with 2-factor authentication when you have to wait to receive a text message to login to certain websites and accounts.
Google released its own security key last year.
How well do these devices work? 2 years ago Google started requiring all employees to use security keys instead of one-time codes since then, Google says it has had no confirmed case of an account being hacked by a phishing attempt.
You can pick up these devices for about $40 but the iPhone version of the Yubikey will cost $70.