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This tool is Google security for steroids. Find out if it is for you



  05 Titanium Key

Google's Titan Security Key, which works with Google's Enhanced Protection Program, is available in the $ 50 US $ two-pack on the Google Store.


Sarah Tew / CNET

You'll probably be storing a lot of sensitive information in your Google Account – bank account numbers and balances, email addresses for everyone in your life, face photos, faces of your friends, your family. If you want the highest level of security for all your vital data, check out the Google Advanced Protection program. Google's program makes it virtually impossible for anyone but you to access your Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, or other Google services you use. Google claims it offers the highest level of consumer security available.

You have a right to be concerned – data breaches have become so common that CNET now keeps a running list. Just last month, hackers spent thousands of dollars of Facebook ads on unsuspecting users' credit cards. In the meantime, one of the largest players in the virtual private network, NorthVPN, reluctantly gave a massive infringement after a security researcher posted a message on Twitter.

Whether you're ready to add maximum security to your Google Account, or you're just curious how a high-security system works. Find everything you need to know about the Google Advanced Protection program and how it can protect your data.

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How to Protect Your Account

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Google The Titan USB-C security key acts as a backup in case your Bluetooth key gets lost or stops working.


Google

The Google Advanced Protection program protects your personal information by requiring a physical security key similar to the dongle that launches a car with a keyless ignition. You do not have to connect it to your phone, laptop or desktop, so keep it close by when you access your Google Account. B. on a keychain or in your pocket.

The Google Store sells a range of Titan security keys for $ 50. However, there are other options as well.

One common denominator in most privacy breaches is that attacks over the Internet are remotely executed. That's why physical security keys, much like those that Google users or Microsoft customers can now use to unlock their Windows computers, provide such effective protection against online hackers. Even if a fraudster stole your username and password, he could not get into your account without that physical key.

The same goes for anyone who secretly steals your password – curious employees, suspicious spouses. Without this key, your Google Account is virtually impenetrable.

There are some drawbacks, however

Once you sign up for the Google Advanced Protection program, accessing Google services is a bit more difficult for both of you and most third-party apps running on YouTube, Gmail, Access Google Drive or other areas of your Google Account to work.

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YubiKey also makes security keys like this that are compatible with Google's Extended Protection program.


Josh Miller / CNET

All Google apps continue to work, as well as a few select non-Google apps, including Apple's Mail, Calendar, and Contacts apps for iOS, and Mozilla's Thunderbird email client. Travel tracking apps or apps that aggregate your online purchases by scanning Gmail for receipts, however, usually no longer work. In addition, all Google services accessed through a mobile phone or desktop browser only work with Chrome or Firefox.

In addition to these hurdles, if you lose your security key and your backup key, you'll be able to recover your Google Account will take several days because Google takes extra steps to verify your identity before it unlocks. That's because hackers sometimes contact companies like Google, who pretend to be you to reset your password and hijack your account.

The facility costs once, but no monthly fee.

The first thing you do You only need to purchase two physical security keys. Even if you only need one to access your account, Google wants to make sure you have a backup if you lose it. Google is selling the Titan Security Key Bundle on the Google Store for $ 50.

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The Titan Security Key is available in USB and Bluetooth versions.


Sarah Tew / CNET

The two keys included are running on Google-developed firmware. Thanks to a recent hardware update, the Titan USB key now fits for USB-C ports like any modern MacBook, including the new 16-inch MacBook Pro November 13, as well as many Windows computers and Chromebooks. It's also shipped with adapters, so you can use it with both USB-A and micro-USB ports.

For most users, the Titan set works flawlessly. However, if you insist on choosing your own keyset, you can either save money or because you prefer another manufacturer, look for a keychain that is compatible with FIDO Universal 2nd Factor (U2F), also known as FIDO2. YubiKey is a popular alternative. You sell compatible keys for $ 20 to $ 70 each, which you can order directly from the YubiKey website.

Compatible keys are also available from various online retailers for about $ 7 to over $ 40. Certain Android phones also come with a compatible Bluetooth security key. Google recommends using a Bluetooth key fob as a primary key and a USB key as a backup.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Register your keys and sign up for the program.

Once you've resolved the key situation, return to your Google Account to register the keys and sign up for the program. Note that from now on, you'll need to use either Chrome or Firefox – you can no longer access Gmail, Google Docs, or other Google services with Safari, Internet Explorer, or other browsers.

In your account settings, it may be a good idea to set up some additional methods that Google can use to see if you are. This strengthens both the security of your account and the ability to reenter if you ever lose both keys.

It also works with G-Suite accounts.

Many schools, universities, and employers use Google's G-Suite software suite to provide email addresses, cloud storage, and other features and benefits to students, faculty, and employees. Google just started supporting G-Suite customers last summer. However, you may need to contact your supervisor or system administrator to enable the option.

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Angela Lang / CNET

Google's Enhanced Protection Program Continues to Evolve

G Suite compatibility is not the only new enhancement to the Enhanced Protection program, as Google has recently expanded the scope of the program to include protecting people from viruses, aimed at Chrome. This is a welcome feature as Chrome already has a bad reputation for protecting your privacy.

While it may seem ironic to entrust your safety to Google after the company recently forced its users to feed their personal information to advertisers and collect health information about millions of Americans without their consent, the other side of it is Medal Google You probably know each other better than any other technology company. So if someone wants to keep track of your digital security, it could be Google.


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