Soumya Prakash Pradhan

Apple has always placed a high priority on security, and its latest update is no exception. iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3, and macOS Ventura 13.2, all features support physical security keys, a new way to verify your Apple ID login.

This added security feature offers iPhone users a simple way to improve their account security and protect themselves from targeted attacks.

A physical security key, on the other hand, offers a more secure option that can't be easily replicated or tricked by scammers.
The way security keys work is that they add an extra layer of security to the existing two-factor authentication process. Users who already have 2FA  set up will be familiar with the process of logging into a new device and receiving a six-digit code via SMS or another trusted device.

With a security key, this second step is replaced with a physical device that verifies your identity.

This extra step adds a layer of security that makes it much more difficult for scammers to target users.

A physical device is much harder to obtain than a six-digit number that can be tricked out of a user.

Setting Up Security Keys

To start using security keys with your Apple ID, you'll first need to enable two-factor authentication on your account. 

1. First open Settings on your iPhone.
2. Tap on your name at the top.
3. Then select Password & Security.
4. Now, Turn on two-factor authentication.
5. From there, you can follow the instructions to set up a phone number to receive SMS messages.
6. And, specify any other trusted devices you want to use.

Once you have set up security keys, they become the extra step in the 2FA process. They either plug directly into a lightning or USB port on your device, or they can communicate wirelessly via the NFC protocol on iPhones.

This physical device essentially proves that you are who you say you are, giving you access to your Apple ID and all of your apps and services.

It's important to note that losing your security key can be a serious issue.

While Apple prompts users to set up two keys, for this reason, losing both can result in permanent lockout from your account.

However, recovery options may exist, but Apple hasn't specified them for security reasons.