Ever wondered what Google’s physical keys are meant for? Well, you might not be familiar with the term. Sounds promising though, isn’t it!
Well, it is part of Google’s Advanced Protection Program, designed to protect the online interest of high-value targets such as journalist, celebrities, business leaders and members of political campaign teams.
Until last year, two-step authentication was considered to be the benchmark, as far as accessing the online accounts were considered. But, somewhere along the line, it has lost the edge and remember, it is 2018 now.
So, Google came up with a new strategy and rolled out physical keys, which is crafted to replace two-factor verification.
In short, the objective is to provide a strong defense mechanism against the rising phishing attacks. Advanced Protection, thus offers comprehensive security, where apart from the conventional password, the user will also require a physical security key, so as to access the account.
What Can You Expect from Physical Keys?
The keys, by and large look like thumb drives and will cost about $20 a piece. While using a computer to authenticate, you are supposed to plug the key into your machine. As for using the same on your smartphone, you have to select one that can be connected wire-lessly.
Of course, you will need one of each key, if you are interested in accessing the account, both on the computer and your device. However, after authentication, you are not required to repeat the process and it helps a lot.
Well, the security system based on physical keys looks viable enough, even for regular users. The simplified approach using sophisticated technology ensures complete safety and this really counts, in the long run.
Physical keys can be termed as the evolution of two- factor authentication, where your password is given an extra layer of security. Way back in 2010, Google was the first company to introduce two- factor authentication and with physical keys, it is almost taking the game to a whole new level.
Who Stands to Benefit with Physical Keys?
Google is targeting users, who are victims of persistent online attacks and victims of abuse and online stalking. The Advanced Protection Programme is objectively aimed to assist these users with a physical device that is much difficult to steal than a text message.
To a large extent, the security program works and most of the experts are of the opinion that everyone should sign-up. However, there is a catch. The physical keys are not compatible with third-party apps.
What Does it Take to Setup Advance Protection?
Almost anyone with a Google account is capable of signing up for the security program, by accessing Google’s Advanced Protection webpage. In addition to these, you are also required to by the two physical keys
The keys can be easily carried in your pocket and contain digital signatures to provide your identity. As for setting up, all you have to do is to plug the device into the USB port of your computer.
Besides, the USB key cryptographically verifies the authenticity of the site, thus reducing the chances of you getting into a phishing site.
Things to Remember
- The whole process takes a few minutes.
- Log in using the key once on your smartphone and computer.
- When you are done, Google will remember the devices for future logins.
- If you are using an iPhone, this feature will work only when you make it a point to use Google’s Gmail or Inbox apps for emails.
- In case you rely on Apple Mail to access Gmail or that of Microsoft Outlook to get into Gmail, the advanced protection program will never work.
Although Google categorically remarked that the company will eventually allow third-party apps to work with the program, the responsibility also lies in with the others, who need to update their apps to sync with the keys.
Keeping in mind the security scenario, Google has upgraded the security scenario and this augurs well for the users, who are vulnerable.
Should you Opt for the Physical Keys?
Security Keys from Google are easy to setup and does provide comprehensive security. At the same time, it can be a lot more annoying if somehow you lose access to the keys. Moreover, your overall productivity also gets affected, since it is not compatible with other third-party apps.
While the mechanism is being marketed as a new security tool, much depends on how the end -user perceives it. Until then, you can use the security key, as it does provide you a viable alternative. Two-factor authentication is not something that you can rely upon. The real deal, of course, lies in embracing new technology for the greater good.
If you are looking to protect your account, then you must go for it. At least, you give you a chance to withstand the numerous threats that appear to be prowling online. It is considered to be a game changer for certain reasons and does live up to your expectation.
Have You Considered the Worst Case Scenario!
What if you are not in a position to access the Gmail account? This is something you might have never considered. If you are confused with the recovery procedure and don’t really know where to begin, it makes sense then to approach the third-party experts. Given the conditions, you can contact the Gmail customer service team using the toll-free phone number, for quick assistance.