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Google Offers Advanced Protection Program for Risky Downloads

Aug 12, 2019 9:47:29 AM

Google now offers an added layer of protection for high profile Google accounts such as journalists, business owners, and politicians. The Advanced Protection Plan will help protect the user from risky downloads that happen outside of email.

How it Works

The service provides extra security through two different ways: requiring two security keys to log into your Google Accounts (Gmail, Drive files, etc), and warning its users when a potentially hazardous download has taken place. Google will notify the user that it detects a problem, and in some cases, block the download from occurring. This helps prevent downloads that the user was unaware had taken place. This practice by hackers is called “drive-by-downloads.”

If you are eligible for the Advanced Protection Plan, and you have enrolled into it, Google states that all you have to do is turn on sync in Google Chrome to start receiving stronger protection. The service itself is free, but you will have to pay for the security keys. And you need to purchase two of them to enroll.

Why Data Protection is Important

Data has become more valuable than ever. Google is attempting to build an entire city based on consumer data. But personal data, how it is stored, and what companies are doing with it, is becoming an increasingly greater concern for everyday people.

The Capital One data breach is the most recent example of how a data breach can affect hundreds of millions of people. These types of breaches can expose people’s personal information, including social security numbers, which provide hackers with an easy road to stealing your identity.

Companies like Apple are one of the few that are on the forefront of data protection. They have been advocates for personal data privacy for a while now, and even market their iPhones based on their privacy protections. ADT announced earlier this year its privacy initiative to help keep their users data from being stolen. Now Google is taking extra steps to protect its users from would-be hackers.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Some things are out of your control, like the Capital One or Equifax breaches, but there are still a number of things you can do to protect yourself from data and personal breaches:

Passwords

Creating stronger passwords can help keep your personal data protected, and not using the same password for every website can add protection as well. Password managers such as LastPass, and 1Password, can help you manage all of your passwords.

Be Weary of Public WiFi

Logging on to public WiFi opens up your computer, and your personal data to hackers. This gives hackers the opportunity to steal information from your computer, such as credit card numbers and passwords. It’s always best to log onto private WiFi networks.

Limit Your Social Media Sharing

Sharing too much on social media can give potential hackers the keys they need to break into your networks. You should pay attention to the pictures you post. Something as simple as having a credit card laying around in your picture can give someone access to your personal finances.

Use Passcodes for Devices

If you lose your device, or one of your devices gets stolen, a passcode might be the only thing protecting your personal data from hackers. That is also why two-factor authentication can be so important, and why Google is implementing it in the new protection plan.

Your personal data is valuable, and you should be doing everything you can to protect it.

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