Accessories For Secure Two-Factor Authentication

If you’re serious about internet security, you’re likely already employing two-step verification methods of some sort for your regularly used websites like Gmail, Twitter and Facebook. Maybe you’ve opted to receive codes via SMS, or downloaded a two-factor authentication app onto your mobile phone. But SMS messages aren’t the only way to authenticate — and they’re certainly not the most secure. In fact, your cell phone isn’t necessary at all.

The tech world includes a market of password security products which can be used to aid in two-factor authentication, password management and account security.

For those interested in being less reliant on their mobile phones, or who’d like a distinct accessory dedicated to online security, we hear you. Below, we’ve rounded up five products — from USB keys, to token/code-generating machines, to fingerprint scanners — designed to help you add extra protection to your online accounts.

Yubico FIDO U2F Security Key

Yubico’s FIDO U2F Security Key is designed to work for sites that adhere to FIDO U2F — also known as the Universal 2nd Factor security protocol. Created by Yubico and Google, the Fido U2F is an authentication standard originally designed with the intention of making new levels of security available on a mass-market level.

The Yubico key, which is available for just $18 on Amazon, is a thin accessory that fits into a USB Type A drive. You can even attach it to your keyring.

To use your key for authentication, all you have to do is plug it into the USB A drive and tap, as opposed to entering a code from SMS or an app. It is compatible with various sites, including Google, Facebook and Dropbox.

Fortinet FortiToken 200 Hardware Token

From cybersecurity company Fortinet, the Fortinet FortiToken 200 Hardware Token — an authentication token accessory — operates by providing time-based one-time passwords (TOTP) to enter as the second layer of security while logging into a site.

As opposed to USB keys, this accessory doesn’t plug into the computer. It operates more closely to code-generating apps, but doesn’t require a mobile phone, and keeps security protocols separate from any potential cell issues. (If you spill water on your phone, you won’t be locked out of all your accounts for a day while you wait for it to dry out in rice.)

The device retails around the web at different prices, but you’ll likely be paying somewhere between $130 and $230.

Kensington VeriMark USB Fingerprint Key

Kensington’s VeriMark USB Fingerprint Key lets you use your unique fingerprint as your second level of login authentication.

The key is primarily compatible with Windows Hello login system, which lets you access your Windows account using just your fingerprint or another biometric indicator — no login or password necessary. It’s not compatible with Mac or Chrome OS, but can be used within a Chrome browser for logging in to FIDO 2F sites like Google, Dropbox and Facebook.

The tiny product plugs into your USB drive, where you can push your finger against its protruding flat surface for reading. Like the Yubico key, the fingerprint USB key can attach to a keychain. It currently retails on Amazon for $45.

[Check out these websites that allow users to enable two-step verification of some kind.]

OnlyKey Color

Compatible with U2F, TOTP and Yubikey passwords (OTP), the OnlyKey Color can provide authentication for a wide-ranging host of sites.

The accessory also operates as a password manager, with slots to store your information — URL, username, password and 2-factor — for up to 24 sites.

OnlyKey can be plugged in to your USB port, and easily stored on your keychain. It is currently available on Amazon for $46.

Hideez Key

Hideez Key adds Bluetooth technology to the password security mix. The accessory operates as a password manager with security functions. It logs in and puts up protection modes based on physical proximity to your devices, and also incorporates fingerprint security technology.

You get a notification when the bluetooth signal between the key and your connected device (such as your computer) is lower than you prefer, which can serve as a helpful alert to potential theft of your valuable electronics. The device currently sells on Amazon for $47.

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