Google will enhance its verification system for accounts by supporting identity standards developed by FIDO (Fast Identity Online), an industry alliance that aims to increase operability between authentication technology systems.

The Google Chrome web browser has implemented FIDO's standards, and Google on Oct. 21 also announced it was strengthening its 2-Step Verification by supporting Security Key, a FIDO compliant USB second factor device that is used as an alternative to six-digit one time passwords to protect online transactions.

Google users will inset a Security Key into their computer's USB port to access Google accounts, a security measure designed to protect against phishing and other attacks. Security Key will work with Google accounts for no charge.

Visa, Discover and MasterCard are members of FIDO, and Visa's work with the alliance complements its work with the card networks to standardize and simplify authentication for online transactions. Other members include technology and security companies such as Google, Oberthur and Nok Labs.

Apple is not a formal member, though it has helped form the foundation for the standards.


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