Online security has been a hot topic of late, with data breaches and compromised personal information grabbing headlines seemingly all year. Understandably, many internet users are questioning just how secure their accounts are and whether or not there is a way to safeguard things like emails and files.

We’ve all heard the advice that you should never have the same password for different accounts but, how many of us really heed that warning? Google’s latest development could mean that you no longer need to worry about that quite as much – the search engine has just launched the Titan Security Key, a piece of hardware that brings an extra layer of security to your Google account.

Fighting back against phishing

The Titan Security Key only broke cover in the summer but, it’s already out and available to buy now. This gadget plugs into your computer and removes the need to input a password. It’s designed to kill phishing and means that your account can’t be taken over by a malicious third party. Around 80% of data breaches are thought to be password related so the Titan adds an additional layer of security.

As the name implies, the Titan looks a little bit like a key but the fob is actually a USB stick which you plug into the USB port on your device instead of typing in your password to log in to your Google account. Titan then gives you a unique encryption key, which means your information is totally safeguarded from phishing attacks.

As well as your Google account, the Titan can be used for safer access to other platforms such as Facebook and Dropbox. Google has been using the devices internally for a while now and says that since introducing the gadget, it has had no reports of account takeovers at all.

Two factor identification

The Titan Security Key is a form of two-factor identification – similar to using a password and a fingerprint to authenticate your identity or inputting a password and then a code from a text message for example.

Google developed the Titan in conjunction with an industry body called FIDO, which works to develop more secure log in alternatives.

The Titan exists in two guises – one to plug into the computer and the other than can be used via Bluetooth for mobile devices. It can be purchased from the Google store.