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Google Advanced Protection Program, The strongest defense against phishing and hacks

Instead of focusing on all users, Google set its sights on the minority who need the strongest security measures and today announced the launch of its Advanced Protection Program. The program goes beyond two-step verification by requiring a physical piece of hardware as a key to access your Gmail and other Google accounts; those who enroll will be trading convenience for added security.

Google rolled out the new security measure for the minority of its users who are at an elevated risk of cyberattack. In the company’s words:

We took this unusual step because there is an overlooked minority of our users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks. For example, these 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. Sometimes even the most careful and security-minded users are successfully attacked through phishing scams, especially if those phishing scams were individually targeted at the user in question.

If you have a personal Google Account, you can enroll using Chrome -and only Chrome, at least for now-, as it supports the U2F standard and has done so since 2014. After enrolling, Google promises to "always use the strongest defenses that Google has to offer" and to "continually update" those security measures. (

Visit Google Advanced Protection Program here.

If you're not ready for Advanced Protection, you can still take steps to make your account safer by turning on 2-Step Verification here.

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