Google has just introduced a security feature, called “Advanced Protection”, which offers a more secure login for its users, especially those who are prone to hacking i.e. journalists, politicians or anyone who thinks they are under surveillance. Advanced Protection protects users from phishing attacks, fraudulent access to accounts, and accidental sharing.
To enable Google’s strongest ever security feature, you will need two physical security keys that work with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F)—which offers a hardware-based two-factor authentication that does not require secret codes via SMS or emails. The tech giant explained the feature in a blog post:
“Security Key is a physical USB second factor that only works after verifying the login site is truly a Google website, not a fake site pretending to be Google. Rather than typing a code, just insert Security Key into your computer’s USB port and tap it when prompted in Chrome. When you sign into your Google Account using Chrome and Security Key, you can be sure that the cryptographic signature cannot be phished.”
The users will require the special USB stick to log into their Google accounts from a computer or laptop; while accessing from a smartphone or tablet will similarly require a Bluetooth-enabled dongle, paired with their phones.
Google says the security keys can be hard to manage, but the feature is safe and is designed for users who don’t mind carrying it around, use the Chrome browser on their computers, and want better protection against online scams.
If users lose their security key, the account recovery process will involve additional steps, “including additional reviews and requests for more details about why you’ve lost access to your account” to prevent fraudulent account access.
The Advanced Protection will proactively add new security features to stay a step ahead of hackers, adds Google.
Not ready for Advanced Protection? You can still take steps to make your account safer by turning on 2-Step Verification.