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What Is Google’s Advanced Protection Program and How Does It Protects Your Data?

A freelance tech writer and a certified digital marketer from Yoast. He loves reading and writing on various digital marketing topics.

In today’s world, where most of the businesses are going online, keeping the data safe and secure has become very important. As more and more people are spending time online, attackers are taking this as an advantage.

They are looking for weak loopholes in the security system to get access to your data. But, with Google’s strongest ‘Advanced Protection Program’, you can now protect your data from unforeseen threats.

Google Advanced Protection Program

Google Advanced Protection Program

In this article, I’ve discussed what this is program is all about and whether you should opt for this or not. So, let’s first begin by describing what ‘Advanced Protection Program’ is below:

What is Google’s Advanced Protection Program?

The Advanced Protection Program from Google is a special program using which you can protect your Google accounts from potential hacks or attacks. Through this program, you can add the strongest protection layer in your account after which it becomes extremely hard to get access to your data.

Unlike other security programs, this is designed especially for people who face bigger threats. These include journalists, leaders, political members, etc. So, if you’re a standard Google user, you may not require such an explicit program to protect your data.

For that, you can opt for a 2-step verification feature in Google accounts settings. That will be more than enough. This program is designed for people who feel vulnerable to highly targeted attacks.

Why is there a need for Advanced Protection Program and how does it work?

Google has been considered one of the most secure and safest internet companies in the world. It’s because they take the safety of their users as the number one priority. It means your Google account, in most cases, will remain protected and secured unless you’re losing one or two ends in the settings.

So, why is there a need for a separate protection program? Should normal users also adopt this secured program? Well, that depends on the nature of your business or work.

what-is-googles-advanced-protection-program-and-how-does-it-protects-your-data

As mentioned above, this special Advanced Protection Program is not for everyone. If you’re a normal Google user, you can already secure your account and services from the account settings. This is for those public figures that need special protection from that of normal users.

They’re more prone to cyber-attacks and threats than any other normal user.

How does it work and what are the features of the Advanced Protection Program?

Once you enroll for this program, Google will help you keep your data safe in all circumstances. Let’s discuss how it actually works and what benefits you can draw from it below:

Under this program, along with your password, you are required to sign to your Google account either with a physical security key, or the security key in your Android 7.0+ or your iPhone iOS 10.0+ phones with Google Smart Lock app.

If you have a smartphone that runs on the below Android 7.0 or iOS 10.0, you need to purchase two separate physical security keys. One will be the main key and the other will be kept as a backup.

what-is-googles-advanced-protection-program-and-how-does-it-protects-your-data

The Advanced Protection Program keeps your data safe in the following ways:

  • Protects your data from Phishing attacks

Phishing is one of the most common attacks that aim to get access to your personal information through an electronic medium. Claiming to be officials, attackers trick you to provide your username, passwords, or any other sensitive information. It mostly happens through calls, emails, text messages, and apps.

Through the Advanced Protection Program, Google helps you protect yourself by using a separate physical security key. Along with the password, you need to use this security key to sign in to your account.

This way, attackers won’t get access to your account, even if they know your username and password. As they won’t be having the physical security key.

Note: Do note that once you enroll yourself for this program, any other authentication system, including the codes sent via SMS won’t work.

  • Limited access to your data and apps

There must have been instances that when you sign up for new service or apps through your Google account, you’ve been prompted with a message to give access to your data.

This is because Google wants to make sure that it was you who is trying to sign up for a new service or app. However, most of the time, this process is safe and secure, attackers can come in the way in some apps or services to steal your data.

To prevent this, Google only allows Google apps, and some select trusted third-party apps access to your inbox and Drive. Although this might affect the functionality of some of the apps you’re using, it’s for the primary aim to keep your data safe and secure.

what-is-googles-advanced-protection-program-and-how-does-it-protects-your-data

When using the Advanced Protection Program, most third-party apps that access your Gmail or Drive data, such as messaging app, won’t have the same permission as before. You can only use Google services through Mozilla and Chrome in which you’re already signed in. These may include Gmail, YouTube, or Photos.

  • Block Suspicious Apps

These days, most of the mobile apps come with very exciting features. From making a funny emoji, video conferencing with your loved ones, to ordering a pizza in a minute, they come with effortless features.

However, this might come at the cost of your privacy or private information. Especially if you’ve downloaded the app from anywhere else, other than the Play Store or App Store.

  • Safeguard your account by adding extra verification layer

With Google’s Advanced Protection, hackers won’t be able to impersonate you and get access to your account. When recovering your account, Google asks you to verify your identity with the security key provided to you. This will keep hackers away from your account, thus, making your sensitive data safe and secure.

So, these are some of the ways Google’s Advanced Protection Program helps you safeguard your data.

FAQs related to the Program

  • What is the physical security key? And how does it look?

Google’s physical security key is a wireless-enabled key that consists of a small chip inside it. It connects to both your computer as well as your mobile phone. It looks similar to flash drives.

  • Why do I need two physical keys for this program?

When you enroll for this program, you’ll be provided with two physical security keys. If your smartphone is running on Android 7.0+ or iOS 10.0+ with Google Smart Lock app, you don’t require such a key for enrollment.

However, other users need two keys. One will be your main key while the other will become your backup key, in case you lose your main key.

  • What will happen in case I lose all my security keys? How to recover my account safely?

As the security keys are physical ones, there is a chance of losing it. If you’ve lost all your securities keys, but have access to your signed-in account, you can visit account.google.com. After visiting the website, you can register for replacement keys.

If you’ve lost your keys and don’t have access to your signed-in phone, you’re required to submit a separate request about the same. However, do note that it might take a couple of days or sometimes a week for Google to verify that it is you and that you’re requesting the account recovery.

  • Is this program free? If no, then how much does it cost to purchase this protection program?

Google’s Advanced Protection Program is free for all Google account users. But if you have a smartphone running below Android 7.0 or an iPhone without the free Google Smart Lock app, you will have to purchase this program.

To enroll in the program, you will need two security keys. As Google offers various types of security keys with different features, the price depends on the model you will choose to buy.

Conclusion

As we’re moving forward to the digital economy, it has become more important than ever to make our data safe and secure. During this pandemic, almost everything is going online. And so does the risk of online threats and attacks.

With Google’s enhanced Advanced Protection Program, you can make sure that your data remain protected with the strongest shield. Enroll yourself in the program to keep your sensitive data safe and keep the attacks out of your reach.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Nikhil Sharma

Comments

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on August 06, 2020:

Thank you so much, Mr. Umesh, for reading my article. It's great to know that you found this piece informative. Hope to share more such work in the future.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on August 06, 2020:

I'm glad to know that you found this article helpful, @Liz. Yes, I've tried my best to include all the information related to this program in the easiest way possible. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Stay tuned for more articles in the future.

Nikhil Sharma (author) from India on August 06, 2020:

Thank you, Liza, for the appreciation. Yes, you're absolutely right. It's the responsibility of every company, whether big or small, to protect the privacy of their users.

Such programs will increase the users' trust on Google. It's good to know that you're following crucial features like 2-step verification to keep your account safe and secure from unauthorized access. Thanks for sharing your insightful opinion with us. Stay connected for more such useful articles.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 04, 2020:

Very informative. Thanks.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 04, 2020:

This is a helpful article, as it gives a detailed explanation of Google's advanced protection. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in an easily accessible way.

Liza from USA on August 03, 2020:

Great article, Nikhil. In today's world, people who work in crucial fields need to have better protection. I think it's great that Google introduces the initiative, and people feel safe while doing their job. I'm a moderate user, however, I do have two steps verification for my Google account for protection. Thank you for sharing, Nikhil.