Google enhanced its two-factor authentication earlier this week by allowing Security Key to be used as a primary verification method instead of texted security codes.
Security Key can be plugged into a user's USB port and protects against phishing attempts by rejecting an account's verification unless the user is connecting to Google's legitimate website, according to a company release. Google wrote that because of the device's cryptography use, sophisticated attacks could be warded off through its use.
No data connection is necessary to use Security Key; however, it does require users to be operating within Google Chrome version 38 or newer. Batteries also are not needed.
Mobile-only users aren't recommended to opt into this verification, as a USB port is required, Google wrote.
The devices must be compliant with the “FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F)” open standard.