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Google drops Bluetooth Titan Security Keys in favor of NFC versions

Google drops Bluetooth Titan Security Keys in favor of NFC versions

Google is discontinuing the Bluetooth Titan Security Key to focus on security keys with Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality.

As part of this move, Google has also announced a new Titan Security Key with USB-C and NFC to go along with the previously available USB-A + NFC security key.

Google’s Titan Security Keys were introduced in 2018 and are designed to help users prevent Google account takeover attempts using credentials stolen in data breaches or following phishing attacks.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why You Need an Actively Scanning Antivirus Software

They work with the most popular devices, browsers, and an increasing number of apps that come with FIDO standard support.

Only USB-A and USB-C NFC keys for sale starting tomorrow

“Since NFC functionality is now supported by a wide range of Android phones and iPhones, we are discontinuing the Bluetooth Titan Security Key and focusing on the easier and more widely available NFC capability,” said Christiaan Brand, Google Cloud Product Manager.

“However, for existing users with our Bluetooth Titan Security Keys, these will continue to work with Bluetooth and will continue to work as an NFC key on most modern mobile devices.”

The company will also continue to service existing Bluetooth Titan Security Keys until they are out of warranty.

Starting August 10, Google will only offer the USB-A and a USB-C NFC version of Titan Security Keys, with the USB-A (which also comes with USB-A to USB-C adapter) to sell for $30 and the USB-C+NFC key to be priced at $35.

Customers can follow this simple guide to buy a Titan Security key for their device:

  • If you have a computer with USB-A ports, we recommend you get the USB-A + NFC security key
  • If you have a computer with USB-C ports, we recommend you get the USB-C + NFC security key
  • If you have an iPad with a USB-C connector you can use the USB-C Titan Security Key.
  • If you have an iPad with a lightning connector, it’s recommended to get a USB-A Titan Security Key with an Apple Lightning adapter

Work with Google’s Advanced Protection Program

“Paired with our Advanced Protection Program and its industry-leading automatic protections, the Titan Security Key remains one of the best ways to keep your Google Account safe,” Brand said.

APP allows high-risk or regular users to defend their accounts from state-sponsored spear-phishing attempts with a more secure login procedure requiring them to use security keys or smartphones to verify their identity.

Google advises anyone at risk of targeted online attacks, including but not limited to business leaders, journalists, activists, and IT administrators, to enroll in Advanced Protection as the most accessible defense against account takeover attempts with the help of additional identity checks.

Advanced Protection applies all of the following protections at once, automatically overriding similar and manually configured settings:

  • Strong authentication with security keys
  • Use of security codes with security keys (as needed)
  • Restrictions on third-party access to account data
  • Deep Gmail scans
  • Google Safe Browsing protection in Chrome (when users are signed in to Chrome using the same identity as their Advanced Protection Program identity)
  • Account recovery through admin

Google provides more information on how security keys can help protect you from phishing attacks on the Titan Security Key product page

Also Read: What is Social Engineering and How Does it Work?

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