Back in 2018, Google introduced a new way for users to gain an extra layer of protection – Titan Security Keys. These hardware USB devices would allow you to protect your Google account and data against phishing attacks by requiring an additional step prior to giving you access to your information.
Most importantly, this extra step was one that only you and you alone could perform because it was tied to the hardware that is physically on your person. For anyone wanting to go a step further, Google also introduced the Advanced Protection Program. Paired together, it proved to be an effective solution for automated protections for high-profile individuals and standard users alike.
Today, the company has discontinued its Bluetooth Titan Security Key and in its place, has introduced two new NFC models! This was done because NFC is becoming more widely used and accessible to many Android and iPhone handhelds. Don’t worry – if you still have a Bluetooth Titan key, you can still use it, and applicable warranties for them will continue to be honored “per their terms”.
The new keys are a USB-A+NFC key, which includes a USB-A to USB-C adapter and will cost $30 USD (Seems to appear on the store for $25 at this time without the adapter), and a USB-C+NFC key, which will retail at $35 USD. Please note that as of writing this, the latter does not yet appear on the Google Store!
Google recommends using the Titan Security Key that fits with the port you have on your device (of course). So, if you have a Type-A or Type-C port, use the respective key. However, if you’re using an iPad with a lightning connector, it recommends that you get a USB-A Titan Security Key with an Apple Lightning adapter – see below
I’ve personally never seen fit to use a security key with my Google account, though I imagine that should probably change in the near future. Once, I used the Google Authenticator app and was continually frustrated by the inability to access my Google account after I wiped my device since the app was no longer linked. It would be a good idea to print out some backup codes and keep them handy but hidden if you do decide to get a Titan Security Key – you know, just in case you lose it somehow.