SAN FRANCISCO – When Google boasted that none of its 85,000-plus employees had their accounts hacked since early 2017, it was all thanks to an early version of a security key the company was testing.

And now the latest version of that security key will be available for the world to use.

In an exclusive hands-on, CNET was able to test the Titan Security Key, Google’s own key, which uses multifactor authentication to protect people against phishing attacks. Security keys come in many forms, whether it’s a USB stick or a Bluetooth fob, used to connect to your device when you try logging in.

The point is to provide a second layer of security through multifactor authentication — that is, more than one method of proving you’re the person who’s authorized to log in. Hackers may be able to steal your password online, but they often have a much harder time stealing a physical security key that’s with you.

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