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Google apps will now deliver security alerts: What you need to know

Google Assistant is also adding a guest mode for anonymous commands.

Published onOctober 7, 2020

  • Google is bringing account security alerts inside its apps.
  • They should more quickly warn you of trouble, and are more trustworthy.
  • Google Assistant, meanwhile, is getting  a guest mode for anonymous commands.

Google’s efforts to bolster security now include clearer, more trustworthy account security alerts, greater control over location, and improved anonymity for Assistant.

The internet giant is about to roll out redesigned security alerts that appear inside its various apps. The warnings are not only “high-visibility,” but resistant to spoofs — you won’t have to worry that an email or system notification is tricking you into handing over sensitive details. The feature will first be available in the “coming weeks,” and will be more widely available in early 2021.

google account security alert

You’ll also get to keep your whereabouts under wraps. Google is adding an option to manually edit your Location History in your Timeline. You can add or edit places you’ve visited with “just a few taps.” This could improve the accuracy of your location data, of course, but it could also be helpful if you’d rather not reveal your home or office.

Google Assistant, meanwhile, is adding a Guest mode in the “coming weeks.” Turn it on and commands won’t be associated with a Google account. This could be useful for everyday purposes like researching a special gift or asking an embarrassing question, but it could also be helpful if you’re worried that intruders might learn the finer details of your life if they compromise your account.

Related: Google beefs up Chrome password protection

The security alerts and other measures won’t stop Google account hacks or phishing scams by themselves. However, they could minimize the damage by helping you respond sooner and limiting the data any successful attackers collect. The location and Assistant changes also represent important privacy upgrades if you’re worried that people might get nosy.

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