Here's Why You Should Sign Up For Google's Advanced Protection Program: Stay Safe From Phishing, Hacking
For those who don't know, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month, and the Mountain View company's new program is just in time for the occasion.
What Does Advanced Protection Do?
Basically, Advanced Protection prevents hackers, phishers, and other unscrupulous people from stealing information of Google account owners.
Beyond the gist of it, Google breaks down the three core defenses of the program:
First, it throws Security Keys into the mix. These keys are physical USB or wireless devices that users need to insert before they can successfully log in to their accounts even if the password entered is correct. This is one version of 2-Step Verification, but it's more secure than just inputting a code.
Second, Advanced Protection will automatically restrict access to Gmail and Drive to other apps. That way, malware won't get free rein over all the sensitive info in the aforementioned Google apps, which will soon apply to other software in the future.
Third, it's a new security measure that prevents fraudsters from claiming to be the real owner of an account who has been simply locked out. What this entails is a more intricate account recovery process that involves more details to verify authenticity and deeper reviews.
As anyone can imagine, convenience is the price to pay here, which is pretty steep for some, but the service in exchange is very much worth it, as "Advanced Protection will always use the strongest defenses that Google has to offer."
Who Can Benefit From Advanced Protection?
Just about anyone can get something out of Advanced Protection, but that goes double for anyone who has reason to believe that someone might be out to get them discreetly online.
"[T]hese might be campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety," Google says.
However, it should be noted that the program is available only for consumer Google accounts. For G Suite accounts, they'll have to go with Security Key Enforcement and OAuth apps whitelisting for more or less similar protection online.
Now to sign up for Advanced Protection, simply head to Google's official page and follow the on-screen instructions.
Long story short, everyone who joins Advanced Protection will significantly decrease the likeliness of becoming a hacking or phishing victim.