What is a USB security key?
It’s a key that is inserted into your computer to provide proof that a physical item is present during the process of logging into your online account. It acts as an additional layer of security between would-be hackers and your online account(s).
Part of two-factor authentication (that takes something that you know – your username and password, and something that you have – your USB key or smartphone), it adds a pretty big hurdle between someone who is trying to get into your account who shouldn’t be and your personal or business information. It does this while not especially interfering with your own day-to-day use.
As I mention in the video below, this is very similar to internet banking services who provide PIN generators etc. to ensure that where ever you are, you’re with your machine. Will it absolutely guarantee that someone can’t access your account? No – nothing’s infallible, but it makes it a whole bunch harder.
USB security keys can also be used for many other purposes too – I use mine to secure our G Suite (Google Apps) dashboard, to help ensure that no undesirables can get in and cause trouble. But look, good cyber security isn’t just one thing, it’s part of a practice. Don’t share passwords (there is never a need for anyone to be writing down each others passwords), choose a strong password (avoid simple things like people’s names, dates of birth, pets names etc.) and don’t use the same password for all your accounts.
As you can see the process is really simple, and it could save you a lot of stress and problems further down the line. Remember, cyber security breaches are not something that affect only big businesses, they’re something that individuals and small businesses are at a huge risk from (mostly because people think it won’t happen to them!).