With the prevalence of data breaches and phishing scams, tech companies like Google need to constantly upgrade the security of their platforms. After all, the last thing most of us need is to discover that some cybercriminal has gained access to our accounts.
Aside from setting up traditional security options like alternate email recovery and two-factor authentication, Google keeps introducing several other methods, some of which you may have never heard of. (PssT! Click here to learn all about two-factor authentication.)
On October 31, to mark the end of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Google has introduced new security improvements to help us protect our accounts even further.
New risk assessment tool
To protect your account against phishing attempts. Google will now secure your account even before you are signed in.
Here's how it works. When your username and password are entered on Google's sign-in page, a new risk assessment tool automatically runs and will only allow the sign in if everything checks out and nothing appears suspicious.
- Open Chrome.
- In the top right, click the three vertical dots
- Click Settings
- At the bottom, click Advanced.
- Under Privacy and security" click Content settings
Improved security checkup
Google's Security Checkup tool also gets key additions. First, it can now protect you even further against harmful apps based on Google Play Protect data.
Second, it now provides you with the option to remove your account from old gadgets that you no longer use.
Notifications when your account data is shared with third parties
Google's security update will now notify you when you share any data from your account to third-party websites and apps. Note: You can check all your connected devices, sites and apps on your Security Checkup page.
Improved account recovery
If your Google account does get compromised, new tools have been introduced to give you a step-by-step process to recover your account. This will be automatically triggered too if Google detects unauthorized activity.
Verify security settings - First, Google will check if your account is susceptible to further attacks. It will help you ensure that your account can't be accessed by an attacker via recovery phone number or email.
Securing other accounts - Google will also help you secure your other accounts since your Google account can be used as an entry point to other services. For example, if you've used your Google Account to sign up or log in to other websites, those can be hacked as well.
Financial Activity Check - Google will then assist you in securing any payment methods that are linked to your account such as Google Pay or a credit card. It will also help you check if these payment methods were abused.
Review your files - And finally, Google will walk you through a review of your content and files to see if your Gmail and Drive data was accessed or misused by an unauthorized party.
Windows Defender adds Sandbox Mode to defend against viruses
With the online world becoming more and more dangerous with hackers and scammers seemingly everywhere, it’s good to know that there are programs that can help keep you safe and secure. Windows has just released one such download. Windows Defender now has a Sandbox Mode that allows you to stay safe online using a simple trick that keep you virtually invisible and inaccessible to outside hackers. It's a simple idea but could keep you safe.