How To Use Google Titan USB Security Key On PC, Android & iPhone

Google Titan Security Key

The HyperFido U2F Security key enables seamless authentication to websites and browser-based applications such as Google’s Gmail. The user carries U2F (universal 2nd factor) device with built-in support in web browsers.

During registration and authentication, the user presents the second factor by simply pressing a button on a USB device or tapping over the security key device.

The user can use their FIDO U2F device across all online services that support the protocol leveraging built–in support in web browsers. The FIDO protocols use standard public key cryptography techniques to provide stronger authentication.

During registration with an online service, the user’s client device creates a new key pair. It retains the private key and registers the public key with the online service. Authentication is done by the client device proving possession of the private key to the service by signing a challenge.

The client’s private keys can be used only after they are unlocked locally on the device by the user. The local unlock is accomplished by pressing the button on the HyperFido.

The FIDO Alliance includes leading global organizations such as Alibaba, ARM, Bank of America, Discover, Google, Lenovo, MasterCard Microsoft, PayPal and Visa Inc.

So, lets get to know How To,

Use Google Titan USB Security Key

Google introduced the Titan Security Keys at the  Cloud Next ’18 convention in San Francisco. The Titan Security Keys is a tiny USB device that offers hardware-based two-factor authentication for online account sign-ins with the highest level of protection against phishing attacks.

The security keys were earlier tested with and by Google’s employees internally for a couple of months and they discovered that none of them fell a victim to phishing attacks.

The Titan USB security key prevents phishing attacks, main in the middle attacks and a number of other account takeover attacks. With this, if when someone steals your password and attempts to sign, without the physical titan usb security key, its not possible.

The USB security key is physical in nature and enables authentication into accounts in addition to the provision of a password. You have to carry it with you along the way and incase you want to access your email via any pc, you simply login into your account and then, google or gmail will prompt you to fix the titan security key in any of the USB ports. Which will after prompt you to press a button or tap on it once activated.

These security keys may also be used with a number of online platforms just like Google, Facebook, Firefox, Chrome itself among others and they may be got at a price of about $20-$40.

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How To Use Google Titan USB Security Key On Personal Computer

Requirements to use a security key

  • Have a computer with the latest version of Chrome. Learn how to update Chrome.
  • Have a security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).

Step 1: Get your key

If you don’t have one already, you can buy a security key online from a trusted retailer.

Step 2: Add a key to your account

  1. On your computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
  2. If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, click Get started. Otherwise, skip to step 3.
  3. Click Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Insert your key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one.
  6. Follow the instructions.
  7. To make sure you can still sign in if your key ever gets lost, add recovery info and backups.

Step 3: Sign in with your key

  1. Enter your username and password like you normally do. You’ll be asked to sign in with your key anytime you use a new computer or device.
  2. When prompted, tap or insert the key.
    • If your key has a button, lightly tap the blinking circle.
    • If your key has a gold tip, tap and then press it.
    • If your key doesn’t have a button, remove and reinsert it. This type of key turns off after each use.

You can use your key each time you sign in or skip using it on devices you trust.

Note: If your Google Account is through your work, school, or other groups, you might have to use your key more often.

Ask Google to remember your computer

After you’ve signed in with your key, you can sign in with just your password. Follow these steps only for a computer that you use regularly and don’t share with anyone else.

  1. Sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Below “2-Step Verification,” check the box next to “Don’t ask again on this computer.”
  3. Finish signing in with your key.

If anyone tries to sign in to your account from another computer, we’ll ask for your key.

Fix problems

  • If a key doesn’t work on your computer or browser, you might see an option to sign in with a verification code or prompt instead.
  • If your Google Account is through your work, school, or other groups: Contact your administrator for help or if you need a verification code.

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How To Use Google Titan USB Security Key On  Android

Requirements to use a security key

  • Have a computer with the latest version of Chrome. Learn how to update Chrome.
  • Have a security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).

Step 1: Get your key

If you don’t have one already, you can buy a security key online from a trusted retailer.

Step 2: Add a key to your account

  1. On a computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
  2. If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, click Get started. Otherwise skip to step 3.
  3. Click Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Insert your key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one.
  6. Follow the instructions.
  7. To make sure you can still sign in if your key ever gets lost, add recovery info and backups.

Step 3: Sign in with your key

Note: Currently, you can’t use Google’s Titan Security Key to sign in with Near Field Communication (NFC). Soon, you’ll be able to update your Android device so you can sign in with NFC. Until then, you can use Bluetooth or USB to sign in with your Titan Security Key on Android devices.

You’ll only connect your key when you add your Google Account, not every time you use your phone.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, sign in to your Google Account.
  2. Your phone will detect if your account has a security key. Follow the steps to connect your key. Depending on your key, you’ll:
    • Insert your key into the USB port.
    • Tap your key to the back of your device.
    • Pair your key to your device.

If someone tries to sign in to your account from another device, they’ll be asked for your security key.

Fix problems

  • If a key doesn’t work on your device or browser, you might see an option to sign in with a verification code or prompt instead.
  • If your Google Account is through your work, school, or other groups: Contact your administrator for help or if you need a verification code.
  • If your device was reset to factory settings, follow these steps to update Google Play services:
    1. On your Android device, sign in with an account that doesn’t use a security key.
    2. Google Play Services should start updating automatically. If it doesn’t, go to the Google Play services page and tap Update.
    3. Follow the steps above to add a key to your account.

How To Use Google Titan USB Security Key On iPhone or iPad

Requirements to use a security key with your device

  • Have a computer with the latest version of Chrome. Learn how to update Chrome.
  • Have a security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) and Bluetooth.
  • Have the Google Smart Lock app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 1: Get your key

If you don’t have one already, you can buy a security key online from a trusted retailer.

Step 2: Add a key to your account

  1. On a computer, go to the 2-Step Verification section of your Google Account.
  2. If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, Click Get started. Otherwise, skip to step 3.
  3. Click Add Security Key. Don’t insert your key yet.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Insert your key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one.
  6. Follow the instructions.
  7. To make sure you can still sign in if your key ever gets lost, add recovery info and backups.

Step 3: Sign in with your key

You’ll only connect your key when you add your Google Account, not every time you use your phone.

Note: Currently, iPhone apps like Mail and Calendar only work with security keys used as part of the Advanced Protection program. If you’re part of the Advanced Protection program, learn how to use these apps with a security key. If not, you can use these apps by setting up another verification option, like verification codes or prompts.

  1. On your iPhone, download the Google Smart Lock app. You can manage all your Google Accounts on your phone with this app.
  2. Follow the instructions to add your account to the app.
  3. Your phone will detect if your account has a key. Follow the steps to pair your key to your device.

If someone tries to sign in to your account from another device, they’ll be asked for your security key.

Fix problems

  • If a key doesn’t work on your device or browser, you might see an option to sign in with a verification code or prompt instead.
  • If your Google Account is through your work, school, or other groups: Contact your administrator for help or if you need a verification code.

In Closing

Still thinking of how to 100% secure your online accounts, get yourself a copy of the USB Titan Security Keys that are now believed to be the future of online security that will halt the rampant increase in phishing and man-in-the-middle attacks.

Share with me your thoughts in the comment box below.

Credit: Images and content by Google Support and Hacker News

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Kwehangana Hamza

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I am a digital content designer and publisher working with a top digital agency in Kampala, Uganda. I started blogging out of my passion for learning & sharing.

Through this blog, I share tech and digital tips i’ve uncovered and hoping they be of great value to you.