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Security keys Apple recommends for iPhone, iPad, Mac

Apple has recently added support for physical security keys in iOS 16.3 and macOS 13.2. While Apple has not manufactured its own security keys, it has made its iPhone, iPad and Mac devices compatible with existing FIDO-certified security keys.

If you choose to use physical security keys for your Apple ID, they will replace the six-digit 2FA code that is normally sent to a verified device. It is important to note that you assume full responsibility for your account, as if the keys are lost, you may be locked out of your account permanently.

Apple has recommended three specific keys and has given the green light to others that meet the guidelines. The three recommended keys are the YubiKey 5C NFC, YubiKey 5Ci and FEITAN ePass K9 NFC USB-A.

For other recommended security keys, Apple states that they must be FIDO certified and feature connectivity for Apple devices. NFC works with iPhones, USB-C works with most Macs and recent iPads, USB-A works with older Macs and Lightning works with iPhones and supported iPads.

It is important to note that there are four instances where security keys will not work: sign in to iCloud for Windows, sign in to older devices that can’t be updated, child accounts and Managed Apple IDs, and Apple Watches paired with a family member’s iPhone.

To use security keys for Apple ID, users will need at least two FIDO certified security keys, devices running iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 or macOS Ventura 13.2 and later, two-factor authentication set up for their Apple ID, and a modern web browser. To sign in to Apple Watch, Apple TV, or HomePod after setting up security keys, users will need an iPhone or iPad with software version that supports security keys.

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