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Google says these tiny gadgets can protect you from hackersThe internet giant says putting physical keys in the hands of its most at-risk users can protect them from government hackers. Here's how they work.
Gone are the days when you could rely on your password to keep your account safe. Passwords get stolen by hackers every time. And even if you have a two factor code sent to your phone by text message. Well bad news, hackers and some in some cases intercept those too. Now Google thinks it has even a stronger system to keep hackers out. This tiny key ring may not look like much, but it's what Google says will keep your email account as secure as possible from hackers. This key ring's at the very heart of Google's new so-called Advanced Protection Program. The key ring acts a lot like a physical key. Like to your house or to your car, except it's for your Gmail inbox. And while it's not a replacement for your password, owning one of these key rings makes stealing your password basically pointless Because any hacker trying to access your account will also need your physical key as well. Here's how it works, to log into your Google account, you'll enter your email address, and password, and then you'll push the button on the key ring and you're logged in. That's it. It's fairly simple. You might think, what's the point. I could just use the usual two-factor authentication that Google already offers. Why would I need a physical K? Well granted, for most people, two factor authentication will protect against the majority of hacks and attacks. But a physical key is much harder to steal than a text message or a code sent to your phone, especially from hackers who are in other countries or working for a foreign government. These physical keys also protect you from fake phishing sites that try to steal your password because these keys only work on genuine Google pages. Google says that those most at risk from state-sponsored hacking should sign up for the security program. Like activists, politicians, and lawmakers, business leaders and even reporters and journalists that need to protect their sources. There is a downside, to use these keys you'll have to give up a little bit of convenience for your protection. You can only use gmail.com and Google's own apps for iPhone and Android when you sign up. That said for about $20 for each key ring one you'll keep with you and one as a backup you'll need to keep somewhere safe. Any google user can sign up and benefit from what the company says is it's strongest account protections yet.