Google debuts additional identity protection services

Google has rolled out new identity protection features across its account base, including advanced protection for at-risk users

Google has rolled out a series of online security enhancements across its services, introducing more personalised security checkups for user accounts and additional phishing protections in its Chrome browser.

The revamped checkup service will now include personalised guidance for each user, instead of the same checklist for all accounts, and will evolve as new threats arise, according to Google’s security checkup product manager Yafit Becher.

“When you visit the checkup, you’ll automatically see your security status – a green check mark icon means you’re good to go, and a yellow or red exclamation point icon means there’s at least one issue for you to take care of,” he said.

Alongside this, Google has also added an advanced protection option for a “minority of our users” that are considered particularly at risk of being on the receiving end of a targeted attack.

Dario Salice, advance protection product manager, said these might be campaign staffers working on an election, journalists protecting their sources, or people fleeing abusive relationships.

This programme will focus on three defences: firstly, using physical security keys to provide two-factor authentication; secondly, automatically limiting application access to Gmail and Drive accounts; and thirdly, enhanced steps to prevent attackers from accessing a user account by pretending you have been locked out, although it means users will have to go through additional steps to recover their Google accounts if they are genuinely locked out.

“Advanced Protection provides Google’s strongest security, designed for those who are at an elevated risk of attack and are willing to trade off a bit of convenience for more protection of their personal Google Accounts,” said Salice.

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