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Safer Internet Week Post: The ‘key’ to Two-Factor Authentication

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Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

Hello everyone. Hope all is well and your revenues are receiving a boost from AdWords like a shot of adrenaline after a great workout. We continue in our series of posts focusing on security in light of Safer Internet Day this week.


Yesterday, I talked about the importance of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) and how it provides additional security and peace of mind when it comes to your AdWords accounts. Today, I want to elaborate on that by highlighting a handy piece of kit, which helps simplify and expedite the 2FA process. We have partnered with a provider, Yubico for security keys for Google accounts.

In the same way that your door key protects your house from intruders, the ‘security key’ protects your Google account by using cryptography to authenticate the person in possession of the key. The security key is a USB device that you can register to your account and when you want to access the account in the future, you simply tap on the button and voilà, instant access. What’s fantastic about these devices is that you can register the same security key with multiple Google accounts or multiple security keys to a single Google account. It’s important to note that your security key is registered to your Google account, not a particular computer. So you can use your security key on any computer with a Google Chrome browser.


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Another great advantage, in addition to the added security, is that it is also incredibly simple to set up as you can see from the video below. There are additional benefits to using the security key over other forms of 2FA:


  • Better protection against phishing
  • No mobile is required to login
  • No limitations to the number of accounts associated with a key
  • No limitations to the number of keys associated with an account
  • No extra costs incurred (roaming SMS cost)
  • Security keys don’t require mobile connection/power to work
  • Don’t have to rely on mobile network to receive the code


If you happen to lose your security key, you can still sign in to your Adwords account using a verification code received through the other 2FA methods i.e. phone or authenticator app. It is also important for your peace of mind to know that your security key has no record of your accounts. Even if somebody steals or finds the key, they cannot query it for account information because it doesn't store this information. All the security key does is answer a challenge from an account that it has been previously registered to. A lost security key is useful to the finder if only he/she also knows the username and the password for the Google accounts where the security key has been registered.


Security keys are compatible with Google products so you can also use it for AdWords Editor and DoubleClick. We strongly encourage the use of these keys - you can purchase security keys for your account from several manufacturers such as Yubico or buy them on Amazon.

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next post tomorrow.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Safer Internet Week Post: The ‘key’ to Two-Factor Authentication

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Thanks Elijah - always great to see these updates from you!

Re: Safer Internet Week Post: The ‘key’ to Two-Factor Authentication

Google Employee
# 3
Google Employee
Thanks Kathleen. Happy to share with such a great community