The Google Advanced Protection Program builds on the company's existing two-factor authentication with a more stringent system. Soon, when you type your Google account password into a suspected phishing site, we'll add additional protections to ensure your account isn't compromised.
We've been testing Advanced Protection for the last several weeks and learning from people like Andrew Ford Lyons, a Technologist at Internews, an global nonprofit organization that has supported the development of thousands of media outlets worldwide.
The new Advanced Protection Program was created for folks like campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists needing to protect confidential sources and people in abusive relationships who are seeking safety.
Alphabet's Google Inc said Tuesday it would roll out an "advanced protection program" to provide stronger email security for some users such as government officials, political activists, and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by sophisticated hackers.
The advanced protection features include an option to require a physical USB security key to connect to a desktop computer before each log-in as a way to verify a user's identity.
"If John Podesta had Advanced Protection in 2017, the world might be a very different place", said Joseph Hall, chief technologist at the Centre for Democracy and Technology, who was briefed on the new features by Google. Malicious applications won't be able to access any files stored in the cloud, preventing attackers from using fake services to infiltrate your account. Google hasn't disclosed how external vendors can get theirs apps added to the list. "Once you enroll in Advanced Protection, we'll continually update the security of your account to meet emerging threats - meaning Advanced Protection will always use the strongest defenses that Google has to offer".
Phishing is one of the most common techniques hackers use to gain access to your account or personal information.
Those who sign up for this program will also have to go through extra steps during the account recovery process. Support for the security key protocols required by Advanced Protection isn't yet available in other browsers.
Given the scrutiny Google and other major tech companies are facing over election interference, it makes sense to roll out a feature like this now (although Google says it's in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month).