Google is launching an "advanced protection program" that aims to offer greater email and account protection to journalists, business leaders, political campaign teams, and other high-risk individuals that may be subject to a cyberattack, the Alphabet company announced today.
Under its program, participants will be required to sign into their accounts with a password and physical security key fob, rather than use traditional two-step verification such as a password and code sent via SMS or the Google Authenticator app.
Users will also be given limited app access. Third-party apps, which security experts say is less secure than apps in Google's Play Store or Apple's App Store, will automatically lose permission to access sensitive data from Google Drive files and emails. Users will need to use the Gmail app or Inbox by Gmail for access to these third-party apps.
Account recovery will take longer and require additional steps for "advanced protection program" users, Google warns. If a user loses access to their account and both security keys, they will need to take additional verification steps that may take a "few days to restore access" to their account, Google states.
Read more about the "advanced protection program" here.