Google launched its Advanced Protection Program last fall to help secure the accounts of people who are especially at risk of being hacked. Advanced Protection allows journalists, activists and election officials to lock down their email with hardware keys (a USB key for laptops and a Bluetooth key for phones) and requires users to go through a verification process to get back into their account if they lose their keys.
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But one of the drawbacks of Advanced Protection has been that it only works with Google apps — until now, that is. If a user wanted the additional security, they had to ditch Apple's Mail app for a Google alternative like Inbox. But now Google is expanding Advanced Protection to work with the Mail, Calendar and Contacts apps that come baked in to iOS.
"To protect you from accidentally sharing your most sensitive data with fraudulent apps or web services, Advanced Protection places automatic limits on which apps can gain access to your Google data. Before today, this meant that only Google applications were able to access your data if you were enrolled in the program," Advanced Protection product manager Dario Salice wrote in a blog post.
Expanding to native iOS apps erases one of the major pain points of enrolling in Advanced Protection. However, enabling this feature will make the account recovery process more challenging to prevent malicious actors from impersonating users in order to hack their accounts — something users should factor in when deciding whether to sign up.
Anyone with a personal Gmail account can enroll in Advanced Protection and take advantage of the best security protections Google has to offer.