If you’re looking for an extra level of security for your personal accounts and data. In this YubiKey 5 NFC review, we delve into the small, yet powerful hardware device to secure your online life. YubiKeys are physical keys that can be used as 2-factor authentication for the likes of Google Mail, Last Pass, and Blockchain.com. YubiKey provides an additional element after login with a username/password to verify that it’s you who’s trying to access your online accounts.
YubiKey 5 NFC Review 2022
YubiKey Pros & Cons
What is a YubiKey?
A YubiKey is a small hardware device made by Yubico. These battery-free devices plug into your computer and (along with your password) provide you with an extra layer of 2 step verification. This type of verification cannot be intercepted by a hacker as they would physically need your device to get access to your accounts, along with your username/email and password.
Yubikeys are also very durable, waterproof and crush resistant and come with a keyhole ring and chain so that you don’t lose them. Use both a USB-A connector to connect to your computer and a wireless NFC for your phone. NFC which stands for “Near Field Communication” allows phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices to easily share data with other NFC-equipped devices.
Once you register your YubiKey with supported platforms or apps, simply tap your YubiKey for easy, strong two-factor authentication, for computers, networks, and online accounts. With no need for text messages or one-time passcodes.
The YubiKey can be purchased individually, as a pack of 2, 10 or 50 which is ideal for teams.
What is 2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
Using 2-factor authentication (or 2FA) is when you are asked to enter in your username and password and then another piece of proof that you are who you say you are. 18 million login credentials are compromised every day and one of the most important steps to securing your online presence is by enabling a form of 2-factor authentication.
One of the most common forms of 2FA is a text that you receive on your mobile phone. This usually contains a string of numbers, characters, or a combination of both. However, this can come with an element of risk as a hacker could also potentially compromise this system too. Another way is either using a secure app on your phone like Google Authenticator or Authy. Or by using a hardware device like a YubiKey 5 NFC.
Where Can I Buy a YubiKey?
What Happens If I Lose My YubiKey?
It’s recommended that you purchase more than 1 YubiKey. This. is so that you can use it as a backup, in case you were to lose your YubiKey. This spare should be kept somewhere secure and safe. Also, ensure that you have another way to enter your online accounts in case you do. For example, with Gmail ensure that you take note of your Back-up Codes. Or Recovery Seeds or Phrases with the likes of Blockchain.com.
What Applications Support Yubikey?
YubiKey 5 NFC adhere to an industry-standard named Universal 2nd Factor, or U2F. This standard combines hardware-based authentication with public-key cryptography making it very hard to compromise.
The YubiKey works with well-known services that support U2F and FIDO2, like Facebook, Google, Blockchain, Binance and Dropbox. There are also computer login options for Macs and Windows PCs. Plus, you can even set up your YubiKey with password management like Dashlane or LastPass, and developer platforms like Github and Bitbucket.
YubiKey for iPhone
For NFC-enabled phones, just tap a YubiKey NFC against the phone to complete authentication.
How to Use YubiKey 5 NFC?
When your YubiKey arrives, you’ll want to set it up with each of your associated online accounts. Below are a few ways to set up YubiKey with the likes of Gmail, Blockchain and LastPass. However, there are also quick guides for all supported services available on their website.
How to Setup YubiKey with Gmail
If someone gets hold of your Gmail username/password combination they then have the gateway to all of your personal information. Including confidential emails and calendar invites. With Google, you can set up text alerts with 1-time codes. However, hackers (or bad guys) can also intercept these and gain access.
A great way to secure your account is by literally holding the key to your account on you. Meaning you’d need to be physically present to access your account.
Step 1: Security Settings
To connect your YubiKey, log into your Google Account. In the top right-hand corner of the screen, click on “Manage Your Google Account“. Then choose “Security” from the left and then “2 Step Verification“.
Step 2: Select Your Key, Insert and Tap
Click on “Get Started” and select “choose another option”. Then from here, you can select Security Key. It’ll then ask you to make sure you have your key beside you.
Click “Next” and then insert your YubiKey and press the Yellow button on your YubiKey.
You’ll then be prompted to enter a name for Yubikey. Once entered click onto “Done“
Step 3: Back Up Codes
From the next screen, you’ll be shown other ways you can secure your account. You’ll want to use your YubiKey in conjunction with google backup codes. This is just in case you lose your device and you don’t have a spare key.
These can be printed from here, then keep the codes somewhere safe and use them to restore your account if needed.
How to Log into Gmail Using YubiKey
Once you have enabled your 2 step verification with YubiKey you’ll then be prompted to use your security key when you log into your Google Account.
First, you’ll be prompted to enter your username/email and password. Then you’ll need to insert your YubiKey into a USB-Port and touch the yellow button to verify you are human and not a remote hacker. Then you will be able to access your account.
How to Setup YubiKey with Blockchain.com?
If you’re holding your crypto assets in a Blockchain wallet you’ll want to ensure that it’s kept secure. You can use Yubikeys with Blockchain to increase your security.
Step 1: Security Center
To connect your YubiKey, log into your Blockchain.com Wallet. Then go to “Security Center” in the top right-hand side of the screen. Go down to “Two-Step Verification” and select “Enable“.
Step 2: Pair your Key, Insert & Tap
Select to Pair your YubiKey, then insert the YubiKey into the USB Port and click into the field. Once your cursor is flashing in the box, tap onto the yellow button. Your YubiKey and a string of dots will appear on the screen. You’ll then receive a message on screen once the Yubikey has been verified.
How to Log into Blockchain Using YubiKey?
Once you have enabled your 2 step verification with YubiKey you’ll then be prompted to use your security key when you log into your Blockchain.com wallet.
You’ll be prompted to enter your wallet ID, password and also your YubiKey. Insert your YubiKey into a USB-Port and touch the yellow button to verify you are human and not a remote hacker. Then you will be able to access your account.
How to Setup YubiKey with LastPass?
Lastpass is a great password manager. Making passwords more secure and storing them in a vault so you don’t have to remember them. By connecting YubiKey you can make Lastpass even more secure. Making access and authentication seamless. This is only available for Premium users and you can enter up to 5 keys in case you have other family members using LastPass with their own keys.
Step 1: Account Settings
To connect your YubiKey, log into your LastPass account. Then go to “Account Settings” on the bottom left-hand side of the screen. Go across to “Multi-Factor Options” scroll down to “Yubico” and click on the pencil icon.
Step 2: Enable, Associate your Key, Insert & Tap
Under “Enabled“, select “Yes” and then you will need to click on the allocated YubiKey number. Then insert the YubiKey into the USB Port and click into the field. Once your cursor is flashing in the box, tap onto the yellow button on your YubiKey. A string of dots will appear on the screen.
Click on “Update“.
How to Log into LastPass Using YubiKey?
Once you have enabled your 2 step verification with YubiKey you’ll then be prompted to use your security key when you log into your LastPass account.
You’ll be prompted to enter your username/email address and master password. Then you’ll be prompted to enter your multi-factor authentication i.e. your YubiKey. Insert your YubiKey into a USB-Port and touch the yellow button to verify you are human and not a remote hacker. Then you will be able to access your account.
If you are looking for additional hardware-level security and peace of mind then Yubikeys are a worthwhile investment. The YubiKey NFC 5 will protect your crypto assets through 2FA (factor authentication). Meaning that even if one of your crypto security methods has been compromised, the other one will be there to protect your assets.
People using the YubiKey NFC 5 have given it positive reviews for being a simple, fast, and secure device. It is one of those essential devices that are a must-have for everyone.