Google unveils new measures to keep your account protected

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When the security keys are tied to a user account, two-step verification methods such as SMS text message and Google Authenticator one-time passphrases will no longer work. Google said the toolkit is designed for users who are willing to neglect convenience to obtain greater security.

With the reference to campaign workers, it seems clear that Google created the program in part to respond to months of news reports about Russian election hacking past year that's put a harsh spotlight on both Google and Facebook.

Google announced on Tuesday that it's rolling out new, stronger security protections for a small set of users, like journalists and government officials, who face a higher risk of being targeted by hackers.

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USA intelligence agencies have concluded that those hacks, which included a breach of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta's personal Gmail account, were carried out by Russian Federation as part of a broader cyber campaign to help President Donald Trump, a Republican, win the White House. For Advanced Protection users, extra steps will be put in place to prevent this during the the account recovery process-including additional reviews and requests for more details about why you've lost access to your account.

Google has also added safeguards against fraudulent account password resets to further protect against unauthorised access to sensitive data. Facebook has offered something similar, and even video game company Blizzard has offered one to gamers who want to protect their World of Warcraft accounts for years. You'll also need to be using Chrome to sign up, as your browser requires U2F standard for security key compliance. This drastic account lockdown feature is designed for people at risk of sophisticated targeted attacks, and while it will make you safer, it will also make your life more hard. Security Keys are small USB or wireless devices and have always been considered the most secure version of 2-Step Verification, and the best protection against phishing. To help them prevent such attacks, Google is now offering a new feature called Advanced Protection. For now, these will only be Google apps, but Google expects to expand these in the future, it said.

For now, the program is only available for consumer Google accounts, but Google said anyone with a Google account can enroll into the program. Google hopes that other browsers will include such support in due course.

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