YubiKey by Yubico - Strong Two-Factor Authentication

Cybersecurity. Cryptocurrency. Hackers. Scary words, right? Unfortunately we've been hearing too much lately about cyber crime, ransomware attacks, and a host of other issues that make us feel more vulnerable and less confident in our online safety, whilst at the same time, for better or worse, more of our lives move online. Think banking and shopping, in particular, as well as all the personal information that exists on our social media, in our private conversations, and emails.

We need to begin to understand and to avoid all the online traps that can leave us open and vulnerable to scammers and hackers, for example:

  • Always check the sender of any email that contains a link, and make sure it is from a trusted source. Common tricks scammers will use is to send an email appearing to be from, for example, your bank, with a link to a fake site that will ask you to enter your details in an attempt to steal personal information, passwords or even banking details. You might check the sender of the email and find that the email does not correspond to an official e-mail address. This kind of trick is known as a phishing attack.

  • Don't visit, download anything from, or enter any information on any dubious website. Know where you are and where you're going online.

  • Use strong, long, unique passwords, containing a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols. Don't reuse passwords for multiple sites, or use simple passwords.

  • Finally, start using two-factor authentication for all your sites that contain sensitive information.

What is two-factor authentication? When your bank, your crypto account, or Google account, for example, require you to confirm your identity via a texted or emailed code, that's two-factor authentication. It has a number of forms, including apps like Google authenticator, but texted codes still seem to be the most common. Unfortunately, none of these systems are foolproof - an example of the vulnerabilities with it is that of "sim-swapping", a form of social engineering whereby a hacker will contact your phone carrier pretending to be you and convince them to swap your number to another sim, which they possess. They can thereby receive the texted code for your TFA. This is not massively common, and is difficult for the scammer to pull off, but it does happen, and can be devastating.

Thus - Yubico, and their two-factor authentication keys. These little guys are one of the most simple yet effective forms of two-factor authentication and online protection currently available. All you do is choose your YubiKey as your TFA option in the settings of your account (whether it's Amazon, Facebook, crypto, whatever, the YubiKey works with a multitude of platforms), plug it in, and when prompted at login, you just touch your YubiKey, and voila! No need to have your phone to hand and wait for a text, or to open your email and copy a code. There's something about that physical action of actually touching a key to login that just feels secure and gives a peace of mind. Oh, and did we mention that Google have been using these for their employees for a while, and have given them two thumbs up? Check that out here.

The digital world is changing, and we need to take it seriously. As of yet we haven't found a product that is as effective at online security as YubiKey. Visit them on Yubico.com or visit their Amazon store below to see more:

Some of the range of YubiKey options:

Works with mobile devices too:

This version with fingerprint recognition is coming soon:

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