We all have used passwords for protecting our accounts and we all know that using them can be kind of risky since the person sitting next to us might know the password. The second and more secure method to protect our accounts is to use two-step authentication but that can be risky if someone finds your phone. There’s a third method and in this article, we are going to learn about hard tokens, what are hard tokens and we will also learn some advantages of hard tokens with proper examples.
Before starting, let’s try to learn about tokens, tokens are something that authenticates the user to use or access a particular thing. For example, in the physical world, we use a smart card to provide access to a room or to open a door. Similarly, in school and colleges, we have a card to mark attendance. Users are authenticated using a token. Similarly, In the virtual world, we have usernames, email addresses and their respective password which give access to the account and these give you access tokens to the particular website.
Like Access Tokens, or tokens in general, we have some hardware tokens which are also known as hard tokens. There is a tool called Fido U2F which allows you to insert your pen drive and work around with your account and access the account only when the pen drive is plugged in. Tokens are generated from your pen drive and add an extra layer of security. Some models of these token generators also come with fingerprint scanner where the tokens are generated after scanning a particular fingerprint. You can actually use these things to access and add an extra layer of security to your password protect Gmail and Facebook accounts. Fido U2F supports tons of services and can be used after entering the password.