Google Readies Redesigned Security Alerts for Google Accounts

Google this week revealed that it’s working on redesigning the security alerts for Google accounts and that it will make them available directly in the applications users are logged into.

The company has already built numerous protections into Google accounts and other Google products, with Safe Browsing delivering protection for over 4 billion devices, Gmail blocking in excess of 100 million daily phishing attempts, and Google Play Protect scanning more than 100 billion apps per day.

However, the company plans to continue investing in such protections, and keeping users notified on suspicious activity on their Google accounts is one of the areas to receive improvements.

Since 2015, notifications regarding critical issues in Google accounts are delivered to Android devices, and Google says that an increasing number of users has been engaging with these alerts within one hour after receiving them.

“Soon we’ll be introducing a redesigned critical alert and a new way of delivering it. When we detect a serious Google Account security issue, we’ll automatically display an alert within the Google app you’re using and help you address it—no need to check email or your phone’s alerts,” Google says.

The company claims that the new alerts are resistant to spoofing, and that the warnings will be rolled out to a limited set of users in the coming weeks, with more users receiving them early next year.

In the coming weeks, Google will also introduce for Google Assistant on home devices a ‘Guest mode,’ where interactions won’t be saved to the user’s account. The Guest mode can be easily turned on or off, and users also have the possibility to delete any interaction with the Assistant using voice commands only.

Google is also rolling out new security and privacy protections for Google Workplace, along with updated password protections in Chrome. Furthermore, the company is also advancing on implementing a Privacy Sandbox in the browser, in an attempt to further improve user privacy online.

“To make it easier to control your privacy, you’ll soon be able to directly edit your Location History data in Timeline by adding or editing places you’ve visited with just a few taps, and because Search is the starting point for so many questions, starting today we’ll display your personal security and privacy settings when you ask things like ‘Is my Google Account secure?’,” the company says.

Android 11, which started arriving on devices last month, includes security and privacy improvements as well, including the training of new word prediction models and AI models without having data leaving devices.

Related: Google Patches Privilege Escalation Vulnerability in Cloud Service

Related: Google Ups Malware Protection for ‘Advanced Protection’ Users

Related: Google Patches Email Spoofing Vulnerability After Public Disclosure

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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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