Apple’s recommended physical security keys for iPhone, iPad, and Mac: Buy at least two

IT House News on January 30, the main new feature brought by iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2 is to support the physical security key of Apple ID account. Apple says the optional security features are designed for individuals who want “additional protection against targeted attacks like phishing or social scams.” When enabled, logging into an Apple ID requires entering a user’s account password and then using a FIDO-certified security key to complete two-factor authentication instead of a traditional six-digit verification code from another Apple device.

Those who enable this feature must be very careful not to lose their security key as this could result in a permanent loss of access to their Apple ID account. Therefore, users must set up at least two security keys, and a total of up to six is ​​supported. Apple recommends keeping Security Keys in multiple locations. For example, hiding a security key somewhere in your home can be a backup solution.

Recently, Apple officially brought the recommended physical security key, which is suitable for iPhone, iPad and Mac.Requires at least two FIDO-certified security keys to enable on Apple devices.

Apple does not issue its own physical keys. Instead, it makes iPhones, iPads and Macs compatible with existing FIDO-certified security keys. In a support document, Apple recommends three specific physical security keys, while also giving the green light to others that meet some guidelines.

Recommended physical security keys are as follows:

  • YubiKey 5C NFC — $55 each (works with most iPhones and Macs via USB-C and NFC)

  • YubiKey 5Ci — $75 each (works with all iPhones and most Macs via Lightning and USB-C)

  • FEITAN ePass K9 NFC USB-A – $25 each (for older Macs via USB-A, most iPhones via NFC)

For the other recommended security keys, Apple says it needs to make sure it’s FIDO-certified and, of course, it needs to provide connectivity for Apple devices. Examples include the following USB-C and NFC options:

Apple notes that NFC for security keys only works with iPhones (iPhone 6 and newer). USB-C works with most Macs and the latest iPads, USB-A works with older Macs (or iPhones/iPads with a Lightning adapter), and Lightning works with iPhones and supported iPads.

It is important to note that there are four situations in which security keys do not work:

  • Can’t sign in to iCloud for Windows.

  • On older devices that can’t be updated to a software version that supports security keys, you won’t be able to sign in.

  • Child accounts and Managed Apple IDs are not supported.

  • Apple Watch paired with a family member’s iPhone is not supported. To use your Security Key, first set up your watch with your iPhone.

Here’s everything you need to use your Apple ID security key:

  • At least two FIDO-certified security keys to connect Apple devices

  • iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, or macOS Ventura 13.2 or later on all devices signed in with an Apple ID

  • Set up two-factor authentication for Apple ID

  • A modern web browser – if you are unable to log into the network using your security key, please update your browser to the latest version or try a different browser

  • To sign in to your Apple Watch, Apple TV, or HomePod after setting up a Security Key, you need an iPhone or iPad with a version of the software that supports Security Key