Apple users can now protect their accounts with a physical security key.
According to the tech giant, security keys (small external devices that look like USB sticks or tags) provide additional protection against phishing attacks or social engineering scams and can be used for verification when signing in with an Apple ID using two-way authentication. factors.
The security key can act as a replacement for the six-digit verification code normally used for two-factor authentication.
“Because it uses a physical key instead of the six-digit code, security keys strengthen the two-factor authentication process and help prevent an attacker from intercepting or requesting your second factor of authentication,” Apple says.
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However, there’s a twist: if a user loses all trusted devices and security keys, they could be locked out of their Apple account for good.
At least FIDO®* certified security keys are required that work with the Apple devices you use regularly, as well as iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, or macOS Ventura 13.2 or later on all devices where you’re signed in with your ID from Apple.
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A modern web browser is also a must, according to Apple, and an iPhone or iPad with a software version that supports security keys is also needed to sign in to Apple Watch, Apple TV, or HomePod.
When using security keys, a trusted device or security key is needed to sign in with an Apple ID on a new device or on the web, reset an Apple ID password, or unlock an Apple ID or add keys additional security keys or remove a security key.
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“Keep your security keys in a safe place, and consider having a security key in more than one place. For example, keep one key at home and one at work. If you’re traveling, you may want to leave one of your security keys at home,” advises Apple.
Apple first announced security keys for Apple ID in December, as well as two other advanced security features.