If you’re an investigative journalist or activist who uses Gmail, this new feature is definitely designed to help you stay safe from hacking, that is, if you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of convenience.
The Advanced Protection Program for Gmail means your account can only be accessed by using both a password and a physical security key, which could be an actual USB drive or wireless key enabled via phone.
This means that, even if a hacker gets your credential through phishing, that’s still not going to be enough to enter your account.
The feature was first announced on Google’s blog:
“Journalists, human rights defenders, environment campaigners and civil society activists working on any number of sensitive issues can quickly find themselves targeted by well-resourced and highly capable adversaries […] For those whose work may cause their profile to become more visible, setting this up could be seen as an essential preventative step.”