Govt officials, journalists to get advanced Gmail security features

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Possible candidates for using the Advanced Protection Program could 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", it says.

Protecting your most sensitive data from accidental sharing: Sometimes people inadvertently grant malicious applications access to their Google data. USB security keys are considered a stronger tool for two-step verification than a texted or app-generated code, and provide reliable protection against phishing.

Although many of us would like to think we wouldn't fall for a phishing scam, they are becoming more sophisticated and harder to detect, so these new measures from Google are sure to go a long way to protect Google account holders while they browse.

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To address this need, we're introducing the Advanced Protection Program.

If you're considering signing up as an individual with a consumer account, there are a few things you'll need to bear in mind. iPhone users won't be able to use the Apple Mail, Contacts, and Calendar apps, since they don't have security key support: instead, you'll need to switch to Google's own Gmail, Inbox, and Google calendar apps. They use public-key cryptography and digital signatures to prove to Google that it's really you.

"An attacker who doesn´t have your security key is automatically blocked, even if they have your password", the statement said.

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It's called the Advanced Protection Program, and it's created to ensure that no one but you can access your Google tools like Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube.

Phishing is one of the most common techniques hackers use to gain access to your account or personal information. Google notes "extra steps", like additional reviews and request for more details, in place during the account recovery process. Google said it expects the feature to come "soon".

Google notes it's been testing the program for a few weeks - with beta testers including Andrew Ford Lyons, a technologist at Internews, an global nonprofit organization that works to support the development of media outlets worldwide. The company is working on other new security measures, too, since the company has disclosed Russia-linked ads on its search engine that may have been used to influence the 2016 United States presidential election. "For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step".

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