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How to create a USB security key to identify ourselves in Dropbox

25 mayo, 2021

Dropbox You’ve already done your security homework by enabling two-step verification in your apps and web pages, but now you also add the ability to use a physical USB memory to verify our identity. Used properly, it can be a good combination for those who want zero risk.

Until now these extra security measures were more oriented to companies, but Dropbox has enabled this new feature for all users. Therefore, if we meet certain requirements, we can start to identify ourselves in Dropbox by connecting a USB to any computer from now on. Let’s see how.

This is what we must be clear before starting:

  • Must have two-step verification turned on, so that every time we enter Dropbox from a new device we do so by receiving a verification code on our mobile. You can activate it for free from the Dropbox website, Security section of preferences.
  • The USB key that we will use to generate the physical security key cannot be just any USB: it has to be compliant with the open source standard FIDO Universal 2nd Factor or U2F. Many of these USB sticks have a clearly visible button that identifies them, as you can see here.

If we meet these two requirements, we can move on:

Dropbox Preferences

Log in to the Dropbox website and access your security preferences. There, in the two-step verification part, we look for the section Security keys and we click on Add. The Web it will ask us again for the password Dropbox for security reasons, and a dialog window will invite us to start the configuration of the USB key.

Dropbox Meter
Dropbox Embed

We connect the pendrive (remember that it must be compatible with the U2F standard, it cannot be just any USB memory) and click on Key Inserted. The assistant will start looking for the USB, at which point we will have to press its button if it has one.

Dropbox Checking

Depending on what type of USB key we have, instructions here may vary. But basically the wizard will finish the configuration of the key, at which point we can use it to identify ourselves safely on any new machine where we want to access our Dropbox files.

Now, logically, the trick will be in not lose that USB key under any circumstances. If you want advice, it is best to place it on your own keychain.

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