Google’s Security Key: The Physical Key Instead of a Password

Are you one of those people who think just a password is not sufficient to secure your Google account? If yes, then here is something as interesting for you as it is for Google itself: Google’s security key! Building curiosity in the minds of numerous Internet users, Google has come up with its security upgrade in the form of a USB stick.
 
Once you associate this physical key with your Google account, you will be required to insert this device into the computer whenever you log in by entering your password. This simply means that accessing your account requires you to go one step ahead, i.e. enter your password first, and then insert the Google security key. Of course, you have got options depending on your own preference. To ensure your account’s safety, you can use the security key either once a month or more frequently if you are using a public computer.
 
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How the Security Key Works
 
On the USB stick, you will find a button with a key drawn on it. Inserting the key into your computer and touching the button triggers the cryptographic exchange with the login systems of Google. This is how the unique identity of the user is identified.
 
Security keys are available from various security-hardware companies who have collaborated with Google. The price? It’s as low as $20!
 
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Google’s Approach to Security
 
The security key is specifically designed for security-conscious people. The security concerns of this market segment have been increased because of the frequent security incidents including guessed and stolen passwords. “It is an effective way to solve the Internet security problem of today. In addition, this contributes positively to the improvement of the ecosystem,” says Upadhyay, a Google stakeholder who conducted a test at Google whether any physical device could easily replace passwords.
 
However, Google has aimed to go beyond this. The corporate giant has recently announced that it is bringing in new technology to automatically unlock a Chromebook and log its users into their Google account when their Android smartphone has been kept nearby.
 
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What’s So Good About It?
 
Google’s security key offers a higher level of security than the two-factor authentication, a technologically-secured approach that is already been used by various banks and web companies to log in by using both password and a unique, temporary code which is tied to something that is your possession. Generally, this two-factor code comes to you via a text message, key fob, or phone app.
 
However, people fear that sophisticated attackers possess the capability to break the two-factor authentication security. They can easily steal information by breaking into centralized database systems. But Google knows this well, which is why it has brought a smarter way to avoid such professional hackers. The technology used for Google’s security key resists all kinds of remote attacks. This is because the information required to copy the security key is obtained only through physically attacking the security chip that is built inside this key.
 
Starting this year, companies paying Google for using its office and email software will be able to provide security keys to their employees for enhanced security.