The Google Titan Security Key is now available to buy in the United Kingdom; the first time the two-factor authentication tech has gone on sale outside the US.
The USB-A and Bluetooth bundle provides and extra later of security for users looking to protect online accounts beyond the password. Users can simply plug the physical USB device or pair it via Bluetooth in order to prove they are who they say you are after entering the password.
Google’s device retails for £50 in the UK and can now be nabbed from the Google Store. Each bundle features a physical key and a Bluetooth trigger for devices that lack a USB port. The keys, which also go on sale in Canada, Japan and France, are based on the FIDO standard so it can be used on supported accounts beyond your Google apps.
Related: Best VPN 2019
Google says it has engineered the keys itself to verify the integrity. However, in May they were found to have a security flaw. The company admitted the Bluetooth Low Energy versions of the Titan key were saddled with misconfigured Bluetooth pairing protocols. That means, an attacker could have used an additional security key to pose as a user’s device, if they were within 30-feet of them at the time. Google replaced the faulty keys free of charge and says the issue has been resolved.
It’s considered safer than SMS as a two-factor authentication method because text messages are unencrypted and scammers could trigger codes to trick you.
However, physical security keys aren’t perfect. You need to remember to keep them on you, and losing them has the potential to lock you out of your accounts if you don’t have a recovery process set up. These keys also aren’t equipped with any kind of biometric security, so technically someone could steal it from you and still log into your account.