General questions

General questions
What does FIDO mean?
Fast Identity Online (FIDO) is a set of hardware-independent security specifications for strong authentication. FIDO standards are developed by the non-profit FIDO Alliance, whose members include Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, Intel, AMD, ARM, American Express, MasterCard, Visa and PayPal.
What does U2F mean?
Universal 2nd Factor (U2F) is an open standard for identity authentication aimed at simplifying the conventional strong two-factor authentication process, using similar security technology to that found in smart cards.
What is a U2F security key or token?
Using similar security technology to that found in smart cards, U2F USB tokens provide a form of identity verification that does not require specialised reader hardware, being read directly through a standard interface such as USB, NFC or Bluetooth instead.

When a key is registered for use with an account service, a dedicated public and private key pair is generated on the device. These PKI key pairs are then referenced and used by each party involved in the registration, enabling strong authentication and allowing one device to be used with an unlimited number of services.

What is two-factor authentication or 2FA?
Two-factor authentication (also known as TFA, 2FA or two-step verification) is a type of multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor or layered security aims to ensure greater certainty in confirming identity by utilising a combination of different components.

The components typically include some physical object in the possession of the user (such as a USB security key or token, a bank card, etc.) and something known only by the user (such as a password, PIN, etc.).

Requiring a physical security token or key, in addition to username and password, to sign-in to online services protects against the risk from stolen/hacked/phished/cracked passwords.

Managing account access with the FIDO U2F security key

Managing account access
Do I need admin rights on my computer to set-up or install drivers for FIDO U2F keys?
No. FIDO U2F keys are designed to work ‘straight out of the box’.


How do I sign-in using a USB FIDO U2F key?

Once you have registered your key with a U2F supporting service or application, the next time you log-in to that service you will be asked for your username and password as normal, and then prompted to insert your U2F key and press the button. You should then be granted access.

Do I just plug the security key in, when I sign-in, and does it need to stay plugged in?

You only need to have your key plugged into a USB port when you are signing in. Some service providers, such as Google and Facebook, also allow you to choose to only require the key when you log in on a new device.

Do I need to put the key in every time I use Gmail or can you say ‘remember me’ or ‘don’t ask me again’?

The FIDO U2F key is normally required at the time of every login, but when signing-in to Google you can select the ‘don’t ask me again’ option, which means you will be asked for a password but not always asked for your security key when logging-in on the same device.

Can I use the same single key with multiple Gmail accounts?

Yes, one FIDO U2F Security Key can be used to secure multiple accounts, including multiple Gmail accounts.

FIDO U2F compatibility

FIDO U2F compatibility
What browsers and operating systems already, and will, support U2F?

The latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Opera for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X all have U2F support built-in. You may need to enable U2F in Firefox.

How do I use my U2F key on Linux?

For security, many versions of Linux prevent web browsers such as Chrome from talking directly to USB devices such as your Key-ID FIDO U2F security key. For details of how to enable U2F on Linux, please follow these instructions.

Does FIDO U2F authentication work with all Chromebooks?

Yes, provided they are running an up to date version of the Chrome operating system and have a USB slot.

How many service accounts can I use a single U2F key or token with?

One U2F key or token can be used with any number of U2F secured accounts.

This means the same U2F token can be used for Google Apps (including Gmail) and Dropbox and GitHub and other accounts.

Is the Key-ID U2F security key certified by the FIDO Alliance?

Yes, it is fully tested and certified to comply with the U2F specifications, version 1.0, under the name ePass FIDO.

What online services work with FIDO U2F?

The growing list of services includes: AuthAnvil, Bitbucket, Dashlane, Digidentity, Dropbox, Duo Security, Facebook, FastMail, GitHub, GitLab, Gluu, Gmail, Google Cloud, Google Drive, Google Wallet, Google+, G Suite, GreenRADIUS, LinOTP, Linux PAM, privacyIDEA,, Sentry, SpaceCP, StrongAuth,

Do U2F keys work with Dashlane password manager?

Yes it supports U2F log-in.

Can I use a FIDO U2F key for Windows login?

No, U2F keys are aimed at securing online services rather than desktop computers. We are working on alternative solutions for this.

FIDO U2F security key maintenance

FIDO U2F Maintenance
What happens if I lose my FIDO U2F key?

To register your U2F key with an online service first requires that you enable 2-step authentication for that particular service. This means alternative, although less convenient, methods may also be enabled and used if required as a temporary fall-back. Google and Dropbox provide a set of back-up access codes when setting-up 2-step authentication, which can be used to allow you access your account.

Is it possible to identify the user of a particular U2F key?

U2F security keys are designed to be anonymous to online public services. Each time a U2F key is registered with an online account new cryptographic secrets are generated for use with that specific account and no information about the person’s real identity is linked to the key itself. This means that if someone finds a lost key they are not able identify the previous owner, it also means the same key can be safely re-used by a new owner for their own accounts (even for the same online services used by the previous owner).

Does the Key-ID FIDO U2F key token need batteries?

No batteries are required.

FIDO U2F security key for businesses

FIDO U2F for businesses
Can I use U2F security keys to enable strong two-factor authentication for my enterprise?
Any online service or application can integrate with the U2F protocol. We work closely with Deepnet Security who offer an enterprise server solution that supports U2F and Key-ID devices.
Does U2F & 2-factor authentication work with single-sign-on?

This depends on the specific application. Logging-on via SSO, using an IdP (Identity Provider), can also be set to require two factor authentication.

G Suite: If SAML single sign-on (SSO) is enabled for your domain Google’s 2-Step Verification will not apply when logging-on through your SSO.