Perhaps you've heard about Google's advanced protection software. Maybe you don't. Anyway, we should talk about what it is, who should use it and how to activate it. Let's go.
What is Google Advanced Protection?
Google Advanced Protection (GAP) is basically two-factor authentication (2FA) on steroids. It uses 2FA as part of the process, but it requires two security keys instead of just one, something that Google's Titan Key bundle is perfect because a wireless key and a single USB key are recommended for GAP. 1
In addition, GAP also restricts third-party access to your Google Account. While you can use your Google Account to sign in to certain sites, this type of access is restricted to "Google Apps and selected third-party apps", which helps protect your data from any fraudulent activity. It can also make it difficult if you use your Google Account to sign in to many third-party services. Can't win them all, I guess.
Finally, GAP enables additional security measures to protect your account from potential hijackers. While unlikely, the most determined of account thieves can try to steal your account by pretending to be. With GAP enabled on your account, extra steps are introduced to prevent this – even if you lose both by your security keys. This means that Google will need additional information from you to access your account, which "will take a few days for Google to verify that you are." So … try not to lose your keys.
Who is advanced protection for?  Now there is the great question. With all these extra security layers and let's be honest here, big trouble, it's obvious that GAP isn't for everyone. In fact, it's probably not even for you.
Google's intention of advanced protection is to protect "personal Google accounts for anyone at risk of targeted attacks, such as journalists, activists, business leaders, and political campaign teams". words, people who are more likely to target and have something to lose when attacked. Or attackers have something to gain by attacking.
If you are not one of these people, the odds are that you do not need to activate GAP. It is just super cool for most users – for most it is just to use 2FA. And as I said before, you don't need to use GAP to add security keys to your Google account, so it's also a good idea.
But if you really want GAP like this do it.
But first a list of the things you need:
- Two security keys. A Bluetooth, a USB is the preferred one as Google's Titan Key bundle.
- 2-step verification enabled on your Google Account.
- Your Google password and verified 2-step verification device.
- A certainty that this is something you want or need Seriously, think about it.
That's it. It's time.
How to enable advanced protection on your Google account
First things first: you need two security keys. If you don't have it, pick up some and have them in hand before you start this. Requires.
With your keys ready to rock and roll, go to Google's advanced protection site. You can read about the details here if you want to, but at this point you should already know those things (because you read it in this post). Click the "Get started" button to make the ball roll. There is one at the top right and another at the bottom.
The following page will only confirm what you already know: you need a few keys for this. Browse at the bottom and click on the "I have 2 security keys" button.
You must enter your password on the next page before proceeding.
Now is the time to register your security keys. What is interesting here is that I already had two security keys in my account before I started this process, but did not show up here. So I added to those who exceeded my existing keys.
Click on the box to register your key and follow the instructions. Make sure to give them unique names, so you know which one is. I use the Titan Key bundle here, so I'm called Titan BLE and Titan USB for Bluetooth and USB.
Once you have added both, click the "Continue" button. You will be presented with a last screen confirming what should be changed when this is activated. If you're cool with it, beats the "Turn on" button!
Oh, there is a single box after that. Just let me know that you will be logged out of all devices (including the one you set up) and you will need to log in with your password and security key. What a hassle, right? Maybe, but if you're in danger, it's probably worth it.
There are balloons when it is activated. How cute. 19
How to disable advanced protection
Sick to be protected in an advanced way? No sweat, my friend-shutting it off is much easier than putting on. First go to the page in your Google Account, then click "Security."
Fortunately, Advanced Protection is at the top of the list here. See the "Shut Down" button? Give the little guy the old click box and then enter your password.
If you have problems with GAP, Google offers some potential fixes here. If you are just annoyed with it, you can still turn it off by clicking on the button at the bottom.
With that you are disabled from GAP, but it is worth noting that you still need your security keys to log in. If it was the biggest pain point for you, you can remove the by-click on the 2-step verification option to jump directly to that page. Well, after you have entered your password again, you can of course not be careful!
To remove your keys, click on the little pencil icon to the right of the key name, then select "Delete this key." Made and done.
Now your account is without advanced protection and security keys. But thanks, for the love of everything that is good, leave at least 2-step verification enabled. Deal?