What is Google’s Advanced Protection Program and why do you need it

Google offers several tools and safeguards to protect the data and privacy of its users. One such tool is its Advanced Protection Program which Google started rolling out last year to protect users against attacks that happen to your Google account. The program is aimed at offering high-risk users like executives in the government, finance, journalists, politics, and others to be secured from targeted attacks.

The following article will help you understand Google’s Advanced Protection Program and why you might need it to protect your account from being breached.

What is Advanced Protection Program

Advanced Protection Program is Google’s way of safeguarding personal accounts of users who might be at risk of targeted attacks. The feature takes a step further than traditional 2-Step Verification by letting users sign in to their Google account using a physical key, your Android device or an iPhone with the Google Smart Lock app.

The enhanced security features that come with Advanced Protection Program can defend your account against phishing, account hacking and limits third-party sites and apps from accessing your data. The feature also blocks hackers from accessing your account by preventing them from impersonating you.

How it works

In order to protect your personal data including your emails, documents, contacts, or others, Advanced Protection makes use of security keys. This way, even if an attacker has managed to gain your username and password, they won’t be able to get access to your account without your security key.

You will need to provide the security key when you sign in for the first time on a computer, browser, or device. A security key is a physical device to prove that it’s indeed you who are signing in to your phone, tablet, or computer.

How is it different from 2-Step Verification

Google’s previous account signing process involved you to enter your password and tapping a prompt on your phone through the 2-Step Verification method. Using Advanced Protection, Google now prompts you to show a physical security key that can be connected to your devices through USB, NFC, and Bluetooth.

Additionally, Advanced Protection can also be enabled with an Android phone running Android 7 or higher or an iPhone running iOS 10 or higher. Unlike 2-Step Verification, Advanced Protection ensures that your third-party apps don’t have access to your data, thereby, preventing unauthorized users from getting access to your account.

Why do you need the Advanced Protection Program by Google

  • Protect yourself from phishing attacks through a variety of channels, including email, telephone, text message, or in apps.
  • Even if you fall for a phishing attack that disclosed your username and password, the attacker won’t be able to access your account without your security keys.
  • Allow only a handful of third-party apps access to your emails and Google Drive.
  • Prevent attackers from impersonating you and then pretending to be locked out of your account. Commonly, hackers tend to get fraudulent account access by pretending that it’s actually you who got locked out of their account. Advanced Protection adds additional steps to cross-check your identity during account recovery.

What are your thoughts on Google Advanced Protection and what features would you want Google to add to improve it?

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