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Gmail rolls out their strongest security yet for email users

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Theo Thimou, Clark.com

Ever feel like you have a bullseye on your back because your email account has been hacked so frequently?

Google has a new, more secure protection program that was designed with high-risk individuals such as journalists, business leaders and political campaign teams in mind.

The great news is, the new features are available to anyone!

Here’s what you need to know about this new free layer of security…

RELATED: How to stop hackers from spying on you through a laptop webcam

Google’s new email security initiative

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced the Advanced Protection Program in an October 17 blog post.

The Advanced Protection Program (APP) promises that users who sign up for this no-cost service will have their account security continuously updated to deal with emerging threats.

Alphabet is taking a three-pronged approach to achieve that end.

Physical security key

First, using APP requires a physical security key — a small USB or wireless device — that offers the surest method of two-factor authentication.

You’ll need this key to access your Gmail account. Once you have it, you’ll no longer again be able to use a code sent via text or app to help you get into your account.

Without this physical security key in hand, a hacker won’t be able breach your account — even if they manage to compromise your password.

Here’s how Google says you can get a security key. Expect to pay somewhere around $20 for a key.

Google Security Key

Limited app access to your Google data

Next, malicious apps will not granted full access to your Google data. Access will be limited by APP.

Initially, this functionality will work only with Google apps. But Alphabet says to keep your eyes open for an expansion of functionality to third-party apps in the near future.

Account recovery scrutiny

Finally, the account recovery process will be bolstered with additional reviews and additional scrutiny when someone says they’ve lost access to their account.

That’s great news because this type of fraudulent account access is a common entry point for hackers!

Here’s how you can sign up

Google says anyone with a personal consumer account will be able to enroll in APP.

The sign-up process is easy and this super-secure functionality is immediately compatible with the Chrome browser.

Additional compatibility with other browsers is in the works and should roll out shortly.

RELATED: A strong password isn’t enough

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