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Security & Privacy

Google launches a better way to secure your account

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.

Due to this, there’s one big change in the Google sign-in process. Your browser now requires that JavaScript is enabled. If JavaScript is not on, then you can’t sign in since the risk assessment tool can’t run. Note: You can turn off JavaScript after signing in.

JavaScript is on by default on most browsers but here’s how you turn JavaScript on/off in Chrome:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. In the top right, click the three vertical dots
  3. Click Settings
  4. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  5. Under Privacy and security” click Content settings
  6. Click on JavaScript.
  7. Toggle JavaScript to Allowed.

 

 

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.

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