Google’s Advanced Protection Program, which can be described as 2FA on steroids (for users who are more prone to hacking attempts on their account), just got a little bit easier to use. Instead of needing two separate USB security keys, users can now use their smartphone as one step of the process.
This change comes hot on the heels of a new update that lets iOS users do what Android users have been able to for a while now and use their phone in place of a security key. Basically, if you have a phone you can quickly, easily, and more painlessly set up Advanced Protection. Instead of needing two keys to set it up (like before), you can do it all with just a single phone.
But here’s the thing: while that’s convenient, we recommend always having a second security key on your account in addition to using your phone as your security key. If your phone is the only security method on your account and something happens to that phone (you break or lose it), then you’ll have a much harder time getting into your account. So while this method is simpler, it’s not perfect—always have that second key ready to go. We highly recommend the Google Titan Security key set.
According to Google, this program is really designed for “high profile” hacking targets, like politicians, celebrities, journalists, and the like. But here’s the thing: anyone can use it. If you just want more peace of mind with your account, then by all means, set it up! Just keep in mind that it will disable certain aspects of your account and makes logging in more of a pain.
But hey, that’s what security is all about, right?