Your Google account is about to get more secure now that account security alerts will be shown in-app under your profile picture. Normally, these alerts are housed in your account settings and Google sends out an email and a notification to your device, but some users unfamiliar with manually authenticating an email’s sender may fear that they are the victim of a phishing scam. The new update places a red exclamation mark on your profile photo in the top right of Google apps and clicking it reveals the full contents of the alert. You are then prompted to address the suspicious account activity directly.
Google says that this feature is currently in testing with a small subset of its users. This will surely be rolled out widely if it is effective. My guess is that this will become as integral to the user experience as the padlock on the browser has to internet searching. While you can always visit the Safety Center of your account to see a full overview and manage your data and privacy, it’s nice to see an option in front of your face, should there be an issue.
Apparently, this new means of checking account security is ‘spoof-proof’. The fact that this is built into the wrapper of the app and is not managed through data sent to the user, (i.e. an email) puts me in the camp that says this is trustworthy. Lastly, riding on the coattails of the ‘add-voice-actions-to-everything’ philosophy, which I’m not opposed to, you can now just ask if your account is safe. Just activate the Google assistant and say ‘Is my account secure?’ Seriously, why wasn’t this a thing a long time ago? In any case, after being scrutinized in the past, I’m glad to see Google finding new ways of making users aware of how they can be in control of their data and privacy.