Apple recently added a handy new feature that makes protecting your Apple ID even better. That’s because in iOS 16.3, the tech company added Advance Data Protection to the iPhone, making it possible to associate a physical key with your Apple ID.
Such a physical key is like an extra layer of security, just like an authentication or SMS code. This two-step verification method goes a step further, because you need some kind of USB key to log in to your Apple ID. So without that thing, you have a problem. Handy to thwart prying eyes, but you have to have it with you at all times.
Protect Apple ID with physical security key
One of the best known physical security keys is from Yubico. They offer models with USB-C, Lightning and even with NFC. For example, you can use the YubiKey 5C NFC on your iPhone, but also on your MacBook via USB-C. So on both devices, your Apple ID and everything around it are in safe hands.
It’s helpful to know that your iPhone will ask you for two physical keys, with one serving as a backup. That way you’re not immediately in trouble if you lose one. However, the costs do quickly add up. One physical security key can easily cost you about fifty euros.
Physical keys from Yubico in a row. (Image: Yubico)
Here’s how to set it up on the iPhone
With the arrival of iOS 16.3, it is possible to add a physical key to your Apple account for optimal protection of your Apple ID. Open your iPhone’s settings and tap on your avatar. Then tap Password and Security. Scroll down and tap Add Security Keys.
Then follow the on-screen steps. You will then see a list of devices associated with your Apple ID. If necessary, choose to log out of devices you no longer use. In addition, don’t forget to protect other apps that allow two-step verification with a physical key, such as Twitter, Google, Facebook and more.