Google Increases Gmail Security with the Advanced Protection Plan
Google is improving Gmail’s security. The big G has a announced the launch of the “Advanced Protection Program”, a stronger way of protecting your account against phishing attacks and hacks.
The program has been launched just in time to protect the accounts of around 65% of midterm election candidates. It requires to actually have a physical Bluetooth and a USB key for logging in, and if you lose your key or password you need to follow additional steps to recover your Gmail address.
This feature is currently available for the candidates and people that are at high-risk of suffering a phishing attack (journalists, industry leaders, campaign teams), but it is expected to roll out to G Suite in the future. As you can see, this extra security comes with additional steps and limitations to third-party apps integration, but you have strong security in place.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Chief Technologist and Director of the Internet Architecture project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, told Wired: “Even for people with very limited technology chops, this is a way for them to have an extremely protected profile.”
Gmail addresses are also usually linked to other sites like Twitter or Facebook, this means this feature will protect those accounts at the same time.
If you are not among those high-risk targets, you can’t use these features yet. You can, however, turn on 2-step verification on your Google account. Next time you login, you’ll need to enter your password and a code that’s sent as an SMS to your cell phone.
Google joins Microsoft in the effort to improve cybersecurity. On April 2018, Microsoft announced the creation of the Defending Democracy Program, to provide additional layers of security to political organizations’ accounts.