Right now two-factor authentication is the best way of protecting your Google account, where you need your email address, your password, and a specific code generated by your phone to gain access to your Google stuff on a new computer – if your password leaks out, you should still be covered.
Now Bloomberg is reporting that Google has something even more secure in the pipeline: it’s called the Advanced Protection Program and it uses physical security keys you carry around with you to access your account rather than a code from your mobile.
You can actually already use a USB dongle to prove you are who you say you are and gain access to your Google account on a new computer, but apparently the new Advanced Protection goes even further, and has extra features like limiting the amount of data that third-party plug-ins can get hold of.
Your name’s not down
However, it’s not clear whether everyone will be able to switch to the new program. “The company plans to market the product to corporate executives, politicians and others with heightened security concerns,” says Bloomberg, as per its anonymous sources.
There’s certainly been no slowdown in the number of large-scale hacks and security incidents we’re seeing, covering everything from leaked television shows to interference in elections. Google obviously thinks something needs to be done.
We don’t know exactly when the new features are going to be unveiled but it sounds like this is something Google is getting ready to launch in the near future. We’ll have to wait and see whether carrying around USB keys proves any more secure than current methods.