Google launches hardened security options for at-risk users

Google unveils new security protections in Chrome

Advanced Protection Program is for people who are legitimately anxious about someone gaining access to their account data. "Strongest defenses" Advanced Protection does make using the web less streamlined and convenient. The first involves the use of physical Security Keys to sign into your account. They are said to be the most secure version of two-step verification as they need digital signatures and public key cryptography to confirm identity.

Protecting your most sensitive data from accidental sharing: Sometimes people inadvertently grant malicious applications access to their Google data. For now, it'll only be Google's apps, but other trusted apps will be added over time. This will also apply to the users themselves if they ever lose their security keys.

If you're locked out of your account, you'll have to deal with "additional reviews and requests" before you can log in again. In its blog post announcing this program, Google specifically named "political campaign managers", which harkens back to the breach of Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign Chairman John Podesta's e-mails, which led to a release from WikiLeaks that may have played a significant role in the United States presidential election previous year.

"Journalists, human rights defenders, environment campaigners and civil society activists working on any number of sensitive issues can quickly find themselves targeted by well-resourced and highly capable adversaries", said Andrew Ford Lyons, a technologist at Internews, an nonprofit organization that focuses on global media issues.

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.

North Korea levels threat at Australia over USA alliance
However, North Korea tested another missile on September 15 in response to the latest set of sanctions imposed by the UN. The allies sought to compel the rogue country back to the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons programs .

"For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step", he continued.

At the moment Google Chrome is required if you want to enroll in the Advanced Protection Program, because of its support for the U2F standard for Security Keys. Google said it expects the feature to come "soon".

Finally there are changes to the account recovery process.

The company also said the new Security Checkup will evolve along with the rise of new threats, and in a world where cybercrime is on the increase, this should provide some reassurance to Google account holders.

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