Google is often accused of tracking your data, storing information and showing ads, but surprisingly this is not all! Google is certainly a lot more than that. Two years back Google introduces a program to strengthen privacy, Google Advanced Protection.
Have you heard about it? If you haven’t, don’t worry. In this post, we will tell you all about Advanced Protection and will also walk you through the steps to enable & disable and who should use it in the first place.
Google Advanced Protection
Google Advanced Protection is one level up from 2FA. It needs two security keys to. One being a physical security key and other is password to sign in Google Account. In other words, to protect you from sophisticated attacks, Advanced Protection can be used. As it is far more than the traditional 2- Step verification, it requires a physical security key to sign in again or sign in on a different device.
Phishing – tricks you into giving your credentials, personal information, and 2fa code as well. Even the most security-conscious user can be fooled by a targeted attack. However, with Advanced Protection, even if you do get phished, the unauthorized user won’t be able to access your account in the absence of a physical key.
While using a new app or web service, you are prompted to give access to certain data in your Google account. Providing limited access to your data is normal and it could be used to trick you into giving fraudulent apps or services permission to view, edit or download personal data.
To further strengthen security, Advanced Protection only allows Google apps and reliable third-party apps to access your Gmail and Drive data. Although, this might affect the functionality of apps as this is a teensy price that you have to pay to stay secure.
If you are worried that someone could impersonate you and access your account by pretending they have been locked out, well Google Advanced Protection has a solution for this as well. It adds additional manual steps to the account recovery process, which reduces the chances to jeopardize your privacy and unauthorized access to personal data.
If you really have lost the keys, then you need to give some time to Google to authenticate it is really you, so it is better to try not to lose the keys.
Who Should Use It?
Well, no doubt, it adds an extra layer of security, but it makes the whole process a bit inconvenient. So, it is not for everyone.
For most people, Google default protection is more than enough. However, if you are a public figure, businessman, journalist or activist, or running a political campaign or if you feel vulnerable to highly sophisticated attacks, then Google Advanced Protection (GAP) is for you.
If you really up for GAP, then let’s proceed.
List of essentials that you need:
- 2 Security Keys: One USB, one Bluetooth
- 2FA activated on your Google Account.
- Google account password & verified 2-Step Verification device.
So, think twice, whether you want GAP or not, then proceed to enroll in Google Advanced protection. As it is the quickest, and the safest option to keep your data secure.
How To Enable Google Advanced Protection?
Before going forward, you need two security keys. If you don’t have keys, you can buy them: Google’s Titan Key bundle is perfect for GAP. One of the keys is wireless and the other one is USB.
Step 1 – Get Your Keys:
You will be asked to log in to your Google account click here and check where and how to get the keys. It is recommended to have two security keys, one USB and other wireless(for mobile devices). Once you have the keys, the next step is to register them to your Google account.
Step 2: Register the Keys To Google Account
- Go to Google Advanced Protection
- Click Get Started, located at the bottom of the page. You can also find the button at the upper right corner.
- You will get a window confirming that you have a pair of keys to proceed. To confirm click I HAVE 2 SECURITY KEYS button.
- Under Register 2 Security Keys, Add Key and follow the onscreen instructions.
- Connect key to your computer using a data cable and tap the button on the key to confirm the connection.
- Name the key and click Done to complete the process.
To register the other key, you need to repeat this process. Connect the key, tap the button and rename the key to register.
You can watch this video to clarify your doubts if any –
Once you have added both the security keys, click the Continue button. The following screen confirms the changes made, after that, click Turn On to activate GAP.
Once the process is completed, you will get a prompt to sign out from all the devices. Now, whenever you will sign in you need to use password and Security key. This seems complicated but is effective if you are at risk!
Steps To Deactivate Google Advanced Protection
If you ever want a simpler way to login to your Google account, you can disable Google Advanced Protection to get it. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to Google Account page, then from the left-hand side of the screen, locate and click Security.
Step 2: Locate GAP from the list.
Step 3: Click on Turn Off to deactivate the feature.
You might need to enter a password to complete the process.
Before disabling Google suggest fixes for the issues if you are facing any. However, if you just want to disable GAP for no good reason, then click Turn Off.
Even after you disable GAP, you need to use security keys to sign in. If you don’t want that, remove them too. Click 2FA option to go to the page. You might get prompt to enter your password.
To remove keys, click the edit icon beside the key’s name, and select “Remove this Key.” Click Done
Now, you are off the hook. Both GAP and security keys are disabled for your Google account.
Google Advanced Protection is a great security program which can benefit public figures and businesses to keep their data secure. A normal user might not need this extra layer of security, hey who’s the judge here? Now that you know that what is Google Advanced Protection and who should use it, then you can decide whether you want it or not!
So, what’s your take? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.