You know how you have a key to your home/vehicle/underground bunker? You can have a physical key for your account too. Better yet -- it's considered a second step for Google.
A physical security key tends to be about the same size as a typical house key. Like a house key, you need to have it with you when you log in to an account. It's something you connect to your computer or device by plugging it into a USB port or bringing the key close to your device. In most cases, you'll touch a button or gold disc on the device when prompted for your second step.
Like other 2SV options, you can still remember trusted devices. Once everything is set up, you shouldn't need to use your key more than once a month to get into your account.
Multiple keys can be associated with your Google account. A key can also be associated with multiple accounts -- and not just Google accounts, either. You can see a whole catalog of products that work with YubiKey at the following link:
This is an ideal solution for those who:
- do not have a smartphone
- do not want to receive texts with codes
- do not want to use Google Authenticator
- do not want to use Authy or other one time use code generators
- do not have consistent internet access
- want even more security
Here's the Google documentation on how it works, if you're curious:
We support two physical security keys: YubiKey 5 and TitanKey. YubiKey 5 is widely recognized and works with pretty much every service out there. (It's also, as far as Annie could tell at the time of writing this, the only physical key available that's compatible with LastPass.) TitanKey is recommended and sold by Google.
YubiKey 5 series starts at $45 + shipping (works with LastPass)
YubiKey 5 USB A with NFC: https://www.yubico.com/
TitanKey starts at $25 + shipping
Other options exist (including some open source ones!) but the IT team does not own those keys and may not be able to support you if something doesn't work. If you are looking for an alternative to YubiKey 5 or TitanKey, be sure to get
something that uses FIDO U2F.
If you are considering getting a physical key *and* you have a smartphone or tablet, I strongly encourage you to get one with NFC (Near Field Communication) so it can be recognized by your device.