Google rolls out advanced Gmail security protection for high-risk users

Google to give advanced security to users at high risk of online attacks

Arnd Wiegmann Reuters

There are myriad ways to take to stay safe, but Google has just announced one of the most extreme in the form of its new "Advanced Protection". 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 USA presidential election past year.

"If John Podesta had Advanced Protection previous year, the world might be a very different place", Joseph Lorenzo Hall told Reuters.

Google has implemented additional cyber-protections for users that are at particularly high risk of targeted online attacks, such as campaign staffers preparing for an upcoming election, journalists who need to protect the confidentiality of their sources, or people in abusive relationships seeking safety. On the desktop, too, you won't be able to use a third-party email app, only access Gmail in Chrome.

The new Security Checkup will keep evolving as new threats arise-you can count on it to provide you with relevant, up-to-date security advice that you can use to keep your account safe.

Google has also added safeguards against fraudulent account password resets to further protect against unauthorised access to sensitive data. Unveiled as part of the company's October Cybersecurity Awareness Month celebrations, the suite of expanded security tools is "specifically tailored" towards users who need more robust protection of their online presence. "Strongest defenses" Advanced Protection does make using the web less streamlined and convenient.

When user types their Google account password into a suspected phishing site, Google will ensure their account isn't compromised.

The program will use Security Keys, which are small USB or wireless devices required to sign into accounts.

The giant search engine has introduced a set of its "strongest defense" features, created to protect the Google accounts of users most vulnerable to hacking attacks, such as journalists, business leaders and political campaign teams. For now, these will be limited to only Google apps, but Google expects to expand the number of apps in the future. So, joining the program means you'll always have the strongest protections Google can provide. Google hopes that other browsers will include such support in due course.

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