January Gadget of the Month: Yubico FIDO Security Key


In this increasingly dangerous and complex world, business security is becoming increasingly critical. All of us have passwords for our online banking, email, computer logins, Google accounts, and our social media.

Unfortunately, given the skill of computer hackers today, passwords offer a relatively small amount of assurance that our information is protected.

That’s where the Yubikey FIDO U2F Security Key comes into play. FIDO stands for Fast Identity Online and is an alliance between some of the tech industry leaders including Google, Lenovo, and Microsoft. The goal is to develop specifications for user authentication that are open, interoperable and rely less on passwords.

Alternative forms of authentication include biometrics and U2F. U2F stands for Universal 2nd Factor, which means it allows you to use 2 factor authentication instead of one.

Single factor authentication is simply logging into your computer or online account with your password. But two factor authentication requires another step after your password is entered.

In the case of the Yubikey U2F Security Key you need to insert the key into a USB slot on your computer, press the button and voila you now have access to your account. This way there is no concern that your information will be compromised unless the hacker has both your password and your security key.

The Yubikey provides an extra layer of security; a necessity nowadays. Best of all, the device costs only $18 so it should be easily affordable for anyone with critical private data on their computer or in the cloud.