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How to use YubiKey with NordPass?

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The Nordpass Password Manager is one of many Password Managers offering Multi-Factor Authentication, including a Physical Hardware key like YubiKey.

Press Account Settings in the Nordpass application installed on your computer and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). Confirm your password and press Setup under the Security Key option. Follow the Warning message on the screen and set up the Authenticator app first as a fallback if you lose your YubiKey. Once set, press the Setup Security Key option again. Type your PIN and press Next. You may need to touch your YubiKey to register and give it a name.

In recent years, Multi-Factor Authentication spread like wildfire and quickly became a norm for securing any service or account where user login is required. As a result, we are no longer satisfied having our data hidden behind a single password, no matter how difficult it is to guess.

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If you are considering using your YubiKey with Nordpass, then you are in the right place. I will guide you through setting up your Security Key with Nordpass, including a few crucial tips that will reduce the risk of losing access to your accounts after losing your YubiKey.

Spare YubiKey and the Authenticator app.

Make sure to have your YubiKey ready, including a spare one.

Although you don’t need a spare YubiKey, please consider getting one.

Having a spare YubiKey will save you a lot of frustration, ensuring that you will still be able to access your critical accounts and services even if you lose your primary YubiKey.

Think of your YubiKey as you would any other key.

Yubico

I would recommend my personal favorite YubiKey 5C NFC, a very versatile Security Key with the latest USB-C and NFC technology, allowing you to use it with your NFC-enabled devices just by tapping it.

If you are an Apple user, the YubiKey 5Ci is the best next choice, in my opinion. Although it lacks NFC connectivity, it has a dual connector with support for USB-C and Lightning.

Of course, you can also check the whole range of YubiKeys on the Yubico website and pick the one which suits you best.

Having the preparation done, let’s move on and set up the Nordpass Password Manager to work with your YubiKey.

Adding YubiKey to Nordpass.

The Nordpass Password Manager Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) offers two types of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

You may also like: Should I use Two-Factor Authentication?

  • Using an Authenticator app: Microsoft Authenticator, Google Authenticator or Authy for example.
  • Security Key: YubiKey or any other compatible Security Key.

I will set both an Authenticator app and the Security Key during the configuration. Setting up the Authenticator app before adding a YubiKey is recommended by Nordpass as an insurance policy in case the authentication using YubiKey fails due to connection issues.

Which authenticator app you use is entirely up to you, but if you are unsure which one to choose, I have compared Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator, highlighting the differences and benefits each application offers.

You may also like: How to add an Account to Google Authenticator?

You can initiate the process of adding the YubiKey to the NordPass in your client installed on your machine. The process will then continue in the browser under your online account.

1) Open the NordPass client on your computer and press Settings.

You can go to step 4 if you have your NordPass online account already open in the browser.

Settings option in the NordPass Password Manager client app.
Select Settings in the NordPass client app.

2) Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

Enabling MFA in the NordPass Password Manager application.
Enable MFA to continue adding the YubiKey Security Key.

3) log in to your Nord account.

The process will now continue in the browser.

Nord account login page.
Type your password and press login.

4) Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) in your Nord account.

Enabling MFA in the Nord Account settings.
Click to enable MFA.

5) Type your password to verify Nord account ownership.

Verify Nord account ownership
Type your NordPass account password to verify ownership.

6) Press Setup under the Security Key option to add your YoubiKey.

I don’t have to do this in that order, as I will set up the Authenticator app first, as recommended by the NordPass.

I just wanted to show you the warning message prompting me to configure the Authentication app first.

Security Key setup under Nord account settings.
Security Key setup under Nord account settings.

7) Configure the Authenticator app first before setting up the Security Key on your Nord account.

An attempt to set up the YubiKey before configuring the Authenticator app triggers the warning message explaining that the Authenticator app should be configured first as a backup if the Security Key cannot be used due to connection problems.

At that stage, the decision is yours.

You can ignore the message and press Proceed with the security key, or you can set up the Authenticator app first.

You may also like: Secure Your Coinbase account with YubiKey – A Complete Guide.

If you made the right decision and purchased a spare YubiKey, the chances of losing both are slim to none. However, I like to have peace of mind that in the improbable scenario of losing both of my security keys, I will still be able to access the Nord account using my Authenticator app 2fa codes.

In this case, I’m more than happy to have a backup option, and I will proceed with setting up the Authenticator app first.

Suppose you don’t want to have a backup in the form of the Authenticator app. In that case, you can skip this section and go to step 12, where I am adding my primary Security Key after configuring the Authenticator app.

Warning authentication by security key may not work for some connections.
Warning message to configure the Authentication app first before adding the YubiKey.

8) Scan the QR code using your authenticator app.

If you proceeded by configuring your authenticator app first, now is the time to scan the QR code displayed on the screen.

What I like to do at that stage is to go even further and either save the copy of the QR code or, even better, keep the Secret Key displayed beneath the QR code.

Having a Secret Key is very useful as it allows you to create the code again in case your phone with Google Authenticator was lost or stolen.

You may also like: How to add an Account to Google Authenticator?

The QR code displayed during Nord account MFA setup.
Scan the QR code using your authenticator app or type the Secret Key.

9) Confirm the code generated by your Authenticator app and press continue.

Dialog to confirm the code generated by the 2FA application.
Enter the code generated by your MFA application.

10) Save the Backup Codes for your NordPass account.

The Backup Codes are another form of authentication, and you must save them in a safe place.

The Backup Codes are intended to be used only once when you can’t access your authenticator app.

Single Backup code can only be used once, and new Backup codes must be generated if you use them all.

Backup Codes for NordPass Account.
Press Save Backup Codes.
Backup Codes displayed in the dialog
Press Print or Copy and keep the Backup Codes in a safe place.

11) Log out from all devices.

Make sure to log out from all devices to apply the additional authentication step you just configured.

Next time you try to log in, you will be asked to authenticate using your authenticator application.

Prompt to log out from all devices where NordPass is installed.
Press Log Out to continue.

12) Adding Security Key to the NordPass.

After setting up the Authenticator app, I will finally add the YubiKey to my NordPass account.

Press Setup under the Security Key section to continue.

Adding Security Key to the NordPass account.
Securing the NordPass account with a Security Key.

Make sure to have your YubiKey ready.

Confirmation dialog.

13) Register the Security Key.

Insert your YubiKey to the free USB port and press Continue.

Register the security key dialog in the NordPass account.
Insert the Security Key and press Continue.

14) Press OK on the Windows Security dialog to continue.

Windows security dialog for Security Key setup
Press OK to continue.

15) Confirm the Security Key PIN.

Type your YubiKey PIN if you have configured one.

Otherwise, press continue.

Windows security dialog requesting a YubiKey Pin code.
Type your YubiKey PIN if you have configured one and press OK.

16) Touch your Security Key to continue the setup.

At that stage, your YubiKey golden disk should start flashing yellow.

Touch the disk to continue the setup.

Windows security prompt requesting to touch the security key
Youch the Security Key flashing disk.
My YubiKey gold disk flashing yellow
My YubiKey 5C NFC gold disk is flashing yellow.

17) Give your YubiKey a name.

It is a good idea to name your YubiKey.

As I’m going to add my spare YubiKey, I will name this one YubiKey1.

Naming the security key for easy identification
Type the name for your YubiKey.

18) Log out from all devices.

MFA successfully enabled on the Nord account.
Make sure to log out from all other devices.

When you press Log out, your browser session may become unresponsive.

Just press the refresh button in the browser and log in using your password and the YubiKey.

Request for Security Key when loging in to NordPass account
Insert your YubiKey or press Continue if the security key is already connected to your device.
Nord account authentication using YubiKey
Touch your YubiKey to authenticate.
Press continue to access the account
Press Continue to access the account.

Adding your spare YubiKey.

If you decided to buy a spare YubiKey, now it’s time to add that one to your account.

The process is much easier this time, and you just have to press Add Key and follow the instructions.

Remember to give it a unique name like YubiKey2 or SpareYubiKey, for example.

Add another security key to the Nord account.
Press Add Key to add the spare Security Key.

Summary.

Hopefully, you now have your Nord account secured with the Security Key. If you have also configured the Authenticator app, you can always use that instead.

My Favorite Software and Hardware.

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful. Here is the list of the software and hardware I am personally using, which I believe you may also find useful. These are affiliate links, so if you decide to use any of them, I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. But in all honesty, this is the exact software I have installed on my computer and the hardware I have been using to secure my online accounts or store my passwords.

1Password Password Manager - I have been using 1Password for the past two years, and in my opinion, it is the best Password Manager yet. You can try 1Password for free or check the latest deals on the 1Password website.

Yubikey 5C NFC - This is a hardware authentication device that you can use to protect your online accounts or even computers. If you are thinking of getting one, I will highly recommend Yubikey 5C NFC, which, thanks to the NFC, can also be used with your phone.

Bitdefender Total Security - I had tried other Anti-Virus software whenever my Bitdefender license was about to expire. However, at the end of the day, this is still my favorite Anti-Virus. You can check the latest offers on the Bitdefender site.

NordVPN - If you are looking for some privacy when browsing the web, NordVPN will have you covered. Save 72% now with a 2-year planvisit the NordVPN website for more details.

Malwarebytes - It will defend you against harmful websites and remove any malware from your computer. Make sure to check the latest offers on the Malwarebytes website.