If you’ve considered securing your online accounts with a physical key, today isn’t a bad time to start. Yubico has its highly rated YubiKeys on sale for Cyber Week, and you don’t have to wait for Black Friday to take advantage. From today through November 27 (Cyber Monday), you can buy one and get one half off on YubiKeys in the standard and YubiKey 5 series.
A physical hardware key is one of the most secure ways to protect an online account: It’s a secondary authentication method to prevent people from jacking your data with a password alone. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Meta, Amazon, Slack and other big names in the tech world support the accessories. Unlike using your phone for SMS authentication, YubiKeys aren’t prone to SIM card hacks; an intruder would need your physical key and passwords to access your protected accounts.
The buy one, get one half-off deal is appropriate because security experts recommend keeping one hardware key with you at all times and a backup stored in a safe location. This redundancy means you can still access your data even if you lose one key. Just remember to set up both keys with each account you secure. (Scan the account’s setup QR code for each key.)
When shopping for YubiKeys, buy the type that matches your devices’ ports. Yubico sells models with USB-A, USB-C, Lightning and NFC connections — some including more than one. If you have an older (pre-2023) iPhone, you may want to consider future-proofing your purchase with the YubiKey 5Ci, which has both Lightning and USB-C connectors, or the YubiKey 5C NFC, which you can tap against your phone without plugging in. Apple has phased out Lightning in its current products, so getting a YubiKey with USB-C will allow you to eventually upgrade your phone without buying new security keys.
Your Black Friday Shopping Guide: See all of Yahoo’s Black Friday coverage, here. Follow Engadget for Black Friday tech deals. Learn about Black Friday trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s experts on the best Black Friday deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Black Friday sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.