To use a security key with your Apple account, you need two keys

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Apple just added support for security keys to secure your Apple ID with the latest iOS and macOS updates, but to actually set up your keys with your account, you’ll need to have at least two security keys on hand, according to an Apple support service document (possibly MacRumors).

While that may sound a bit inconvenient, the requirement means you have a backup in case you lose your primary key and don’t get locked out of your account. It’s not an entirely unexpected question; Google recommends using two security keys with the Advanced Protection Program for Google accounts, though the company only requires you to have one security key to sign in. Apple lets you register up to six keys to your account.

You can add security keys to your account on an iPhone with iOS 16.3 or later, an iPad with iPadOS 16.3 or later, or a Mac with macOS Ventura 13.2. (Those updates were released Monday.) You’ll also need to have two-factor authentication on your Apple ID and be using a “modern web browser.” According to the support document, you can’t use security keys with child accounts or Managed Apple IDs, nor can you use them to sign in to iCloud for Windows.

Apple requires the keys to be FIDO certified, and if you want to pick up some keys to use with your Apple ID, the company has a few recommendations. One is the YubiKey 5C NFC, which plugs into USB-C ports but can work with iPhones, all of which currently use Lightning ports thanks to NFC. (Good thing the iPhone is moving to USB-C.) Another is the YubiKey 5Ci, which solves that pesky Lightning problem by having connectors for both Lightning and USB-C, although I’m not a fan of the key’s two-prong design. Apple also recommends the Feitian ePass K9 NFC USB-A, which connects to older Macs with USB-A ports and connects to iPhones via NFC.

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