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

If, like millions of other users are concerned about the safety of your online accounts and want to do something about it, Google’s Titan USB Security Key is the way to go.

It can be a reliable tool to safeguard against unauthorized access through two-factor authentication (2FA)

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to use the Google Titan USB Security Key on PC, Android, and iPhone.

For starters, buy a Titan security key from Google or another trusted seller, and then you can follow the steps in the following sections to set it up.

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about Google Titan USB Security

Related image

Google introduced the Titan Security Keys at the  Cloud Next ’18 convention in San Francisco.

The Titan Security Key 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 victim to phishing attacks.

The Titan USB security key prevents phishing attacks, man-in-the-middle attacks and several other account takeover attacks.

With this, when someone steals your password and attempts to sign in without the physical Titan USB security key, it won’t work.

The USB security key is physical and enables authentication into accounts in addition to the provision of a password.

You have to carry it with you and in case you want to access your email via any PC, you simply log into your account and then, Google or Gmail will prompt you to fix the Titan security key in any USB port.

You will then be prompted to press a button or tap on it once activated.

These security keys may also be used with several online platforms like Google, Facebook, Firefox, and Chrome among others, and they may be acquired at a price of about $30-$40.

How it works

FIDO Security Key

The HyperFido U2F Security key enables seamless authentication to websites and browser-based applications such as Gmail.

You can use your FIDO U2F device across all online services that support the protocol by 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, your device creates a new key pair which retains the private key and registers the public key with the online service.

Authentication is done by the device proving possession of the private key to the service by completing a challenge.

The private key can only be used after locally unlocking the device; which 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.

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How To Use Google Titan USB Security Key on a PC

Requirements to use a security key

  • Computer with the latest version of Chrome.
  • 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, like Amazon or from Google itself.

Step 2: Add a key to your account

On your computer, open your browser and log into your Gmail account, tap on your Profile picture then go to Manage your Google Account > Security > 2-step verification.

Google 2 step verification settings

If you haven’t set up 2-Step Verification already, click on in then click on Get Started to set it up. Otherwise, skip to step 3.

Click Show more options then Security Key > Continue. Don’t insert your key yet.

2-step-verification
Security key for 2 step verification

Now insert your key. Tap the button or gold tip if your key has one, then follow the instructions.

To make sure you can still sign in if your key ever gets lost, add recovery info and backups.

To Read: WordFence Security Plugin Tutorial: Secure, Block and Stop Malicious Attacks to WordPress websites for FREE

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 it 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 for your work, school, or other groups, you might have to use your key more often.

Step 4: Ask Google to remember your computer

After signing 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, it will 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 Titan Security Key On  Android

Requirements to use Google Titan security key

  • Android device is running Android 5.0 or later.
  • USB-A/NFC Security Key or USB-C/NFC Security Key that works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F).

With those in hand, here’s how to use USB security key on your Android device:

Step 1: Connect the Titan USB Security Key:

Insert the Titan USB Security Key into the USB port of your Android device.

Tip: If your device uses USB Type-C, you may need a USB Type-C to USB Type-A adapter.

Step 2: Enable Security Key in Google Account:

Open Settings on your Android device and scroll to Google then tap on Manage your account > Security > 2-Step Verification.

Android Google Settings
Manage Google account
2-step-verification-security

Tap on Get Started and follow the on-screen prompts to set up 2-step Verification if you haven’t already.

Tip: If your device is new, follow the steps to add your account.

Step 3: Add the Titan Security Key:

In the 2-Step Verification settings, select Add security key then choose USB or NFC as the security key type.

use passkey
Select-security-key
Register-security-key

Connect your Titan USB Security Key if you haven’t already and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the setup.

Tip: Your phone will detect if your account has a security key. Depending on your key, you’ll:
-Insert your key into the USB port
-Tap your key to the back of your device or
-Pair your key to your device.

Step 4: Authenticate with Titan Security Key:

When prompted for 2-Step Verification, insert the Titan USB Security Key into the USB port of your Android device.

Press the button on the Titan key to authenticate.

Tip: Some apps and services support security keys for authentication. When prompted to sign in or verify your identity, insert the Titan USB Security Key and press the button.

Tips

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

-If your Android device doesn’t have a USB port, consider using a USB OTG (On-The-Go) adapter compatible with your device.

-Keep the Titan Security Key in a safe place when not in use to prevent loss or damage.

-If the Titan key isn’t recognized, ensure that your Android device’s operating system and apps are updated.

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

-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, sign in with an account that doesn’t use a security key; Google Play Services should start updating automatically.

If it doesn’t, go to the Google Play services page and tap Update.

To Read: Start Your Digital Presence With GoTechUG On Youtube

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

Requirements

  • A security key that plugs into a USB port and works with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) and Bluetooth.
  • The Google Smart Lock app installed on your iPhone or iPad.

Note: 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. With your security key ready, go to your iPhone and 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.
Download-Google-Smart-Lock
Manage-accounts
Manage-Google-account-on-iOS

After following and completing all the steps, if someone tries to sign in to your account from another device, they’ll be asked for your security key.

FAQ

What should I do if the Titan USB Security Key is not recognized on my PC or device?

Ensure your device’s operating system and apps are up to date.

For USB issues, try using a different USB port or adapter.

For Bluetooth, ensure the key is in pairing mode and within range.

How can I enhance the security of my Titan Security Key?

Keep your key in a secure place when not in use, enable a PIN or biometric lock on your mobile device, and regularly check for firmware updates for the Titan key.

What if I lose my Titan Security Key?

If you lose your Titan security key, immediately revoke the key’s access in your Google Account settings.

Consider having backup authentication methods configured, such as backup codes or alternative security keys.

In Closing

Still thinking of how to 100% secure your online accounts, get yourself a copy of the USB Titan Security Keys that are believed to be the future of online security to curb phishing and other attacks.

Credit: Images and content by Google Support and Hacker News

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Hamza
Hamza comes from a design background with over 10years of experience in Web and Media design. He enjoys making web design videos on his YouTube channel GoTechUG. He also writes web design articles on this website. In his free time, Hamza loves riding a bicycle, swimming or going hiking.

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