Google has announced that its strongest level of protection for personal Google Accounts is now available for Chrome. The Advanced Protection Program is aimed at anyone at risk of targeted attacks, including journalists, activists, politicians, and business leaders. Google notes that it has an evolving list of security offerings to protect users across the different ways an attacker can try and gain access to their accounts and data.
Advanced Protection users who have turned on Sync in Chrome will automatically receive strong protections against risky downloads across the web. On Chrome, users get protection from things like malware-ridden files. Google notes that Advanced Protection users already benefit from malware protection that goes beyond what Gmail offers as standard.
With the increased protection for Gmail, Google says that attackers have shifted their strategies to threaten Advanced Protection users outside of email with linked malware and drive-by downloads. In both cases, users are downloading harmful software onto their devices.
Chrome users who attempt to download certain risky types of files will now get additional warnings, and in some cases, the downloads will be blocked completely. Chrome does protect all users from malware, but Advanced Protection users will get stronger levels of protection according to Google. Google is also reminding that last week, it announced that Enterprise admins could extend the program protections to G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, and Cloud Identity customers.
The first time that Advanced Protection was mentioned was way back in 2017. At the time one big feature of the service was that users needed a USB key to access their account. Once the USB key was issued to the user, other authentication methods were unusable, such as codes sent via SMS or the Google Authenticator app.