Passwords have long been considered by experts to be ineffective security measures but stronger alternatives are harder to come by. Phones and tablets and even some laptops may benefit from biometrics like fingerprints and faces but most computers today don’t have the hardware nor the software to support those. Enter Google’s Titan Security Key, which is basically a second key you can use to log into Google accounts. Now Google is spreading those keys outside the US to bring that same 2FA peace of mind to users in a few countries around the world.
Two-factor authentication or 2FA is often regarded as a more secure way to log into accounts and devices but most probably presume it simply means an SMS or email PIN code or a fingerprint scan. In theory, anything secure you have on you can be a second factor key and that is exactly what these Titan Keys are.
Launches last year in the US initially, Titan Security Keys are something you can plug into computers when logging into Google Accounts. You still need to login with our username and password but, instead of sending a potentially vulnerable message, you use the key to verify that it is indeed you. That way, if one or the either is compromised, your account won’t be.
Google itself requires the use of Titan Security Keys for its own employees but was “excited” by the strong demand for the product among users and business customers. That has encouraged it to step up its production and sales and is now making the products available in Canada, France, Japan, and the UK.
The Titan Security Keys come in a bundle of USB/NFC and Bluetooth keys. Since these keys are compliant with the FIDO standard, they are also supported by Coinbase, Dropbox, Facebook, GitHub, and Twitter among others.