The Advanced Protection Program offers Google’s strongest security protections to protect against account takeovers. It’s now easier to sign up for APP with the ability to use phones, both iOS and Android, as security keys.

Yesterday, we reported on how iPhones can now act as physical security keys for 2-Step Verification/2FA when logging in to your Google Account. Requiring the Google Smart Lock app, this is available on iOS 10.0 and newer. The feature has been available on Android 7+ devices since last year.

The added support drives changes that make Advanced Protection easier to sign up for. One barrier to adoption has been buying physical USB-C/Lightning keys or Bluetooth fobs:

But, using security keys can be a hurdle for users: they can be costly, and acquiring and keeping track of two extra pieces of hardware is a burden.

Advanced Protection Program phones

Now, phone security keys can be used to sign up for the Advanced Protection Program, which makes things “significantly easier.” Compared to the Google Prompt that users might be familiar with, phone security keys have to be physically near the desktop you’re using to sign in. The browser on Chrome OS, macOS, or Windows communicates over Bluetooth the login prompt/verification. However, the two devices do not have to be paired to one another.

Besides the more stringent security during sign-in, APP limits third-party app and service access to your emails and Drive files, while there are extra verification steps if you ever lose access to your account. The Advanced Protection Program for enterprise features other protections like scanning Gmail attachments and having Safe Browsing scan “risky” downloads in Chrome.

Android users can enroll here, while the Smart Lock app on iOS is needed for iPhone owners. Google still recommends a physical security key as a backup.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: