Google Account Stories May 5

Following our report last month, Google today announced its support for “passwordless FIDO Sign-in standards” and previewed what the end-user experience of passkeys on Android and Chrome will look like. 

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Google Account Stories April 19

The security industry, as organized by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, has been working to replace passwords given people’s tendency to use weak ones or reuse them. Two-factor authentication (2FA) has helped to remedy that but the future is “passkeys,” with Android and Google readying support.

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Google Account Stories February 8

For Safer Internet Day 2022, Google is previewing a handful of new features across several products, including Assistant, Fi, and Account security, and a slew of related initiatives.

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Last year, Google started automatically enabling 2-Step Verification for end users. It has now successfully done so for 150 million people and this 2SV requirement has resulted in a 50% decrease of compromised Google Accounts.

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Google Account Stories November 4, 2021

How to create custom Gmail profile pictures with Google Illustrations

Having a Google Account means customizing it to your heart’s content. That truly becomes the case when choosing a profile picture, since that picture is the face of your account and the thing that everyone sees. Google Illustrations is a tool integrated into Gmail for Android that lets you create custom profile pictures and really spice up your account.

Google Account Stories November 3, 2021

Back in May, Google said it would start automatically enabling two-factor authentication on eligible accounts. As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Google today provided an update on its account 2SV efforts.

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Google Account Stories October 11, 2021

Google is rolling out two security-related changes that are aimed at simplifying the process of getting 2-Step Verification (2SV) backup codes through a new page and approving permissions on the OAuth screen.

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Google Account Stories September 27, 2021

Besides appearing in the top-right corner of every Google app, your avatar is most prominently used for Gmail. A new “Google Illustrations” tool lets you find and build a custom profile picture.

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Google Account Stories August 3, 2021

Where supported, “Sign in with Google” is a convenient way to log in to third-party services without having to keep track of different passwords. Google is now consolidating its sign-in offerings, which includes the new “One Tap,” under “Google Identity Services.”

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Google Account Stories August 1, 2021

For the past few years, Google has aggressively encouraged adoption of two-factor authentication (2FA) — or 2-Step Verification (2SV) as the company refers to it. This includes physical security keys that plug in over USB, while it also offers phone security keys. The latest effort turns Chrome for Android into a security key for Google Account sign-in. 

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Google Account Stories July 30, 2021

Given the service-reliant nature, Google support for Android encompasses multiple layers. One such way is controlling Account access, and Google next month is ending sign-in support for very old versions of Android.

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Google Account Stories June 29, 2021

SMS is widely regarded as an insecure form of two-factor authentication, and another example of this has just emerged. A carrier looks to be injecting ads into the Google verification code used to sign in to services like Gmail.

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Google Account Stories May 21, 2021

Kicked off by I/O 2021, Google has been making a big privacy and security push this week. The Google My Activity page is now adding extra password verification before it shows all your account usage and interactions.

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Google Account Stories May 19, 2021

At I/O 2021 on Tuesday, Google spent part of the keynote talking about privacy and security. It’s following that up with a prominent “We protect your privacy” message in Gmail and Google Photos.

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Google Account Stories February 11, 2021

If you’re not using security keys, the Google Prompt is the next best two-factor authentication method to protect accounts. Google is now updating the Prompt’s Android UI with a much-needed dark theme. 

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Google Account Stories October 7, 2020

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month, with Google yesterday highlighting what Chrome is doing to protect user privacy and security. Today, the company announced a Google Assistant guest mode and in-app critical security alerts.

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Google Account Stories June 24, 2020

Google last May introduced auto-delete controls where your history and activity information is removed after 3 or 18 months. The company today is making this the default behavior across key settings for new users.

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Google Account Stories March 6, 2020

You can now enroll Google Account security keys on Android and Safari for macOS

Google in recent months has expanded and simplified 2-step verification across first-party services. Security keys for Google Accounts can now be enrolled on Android and macOS.

Google Account Stories January 14, 2020

Last year, Google announced that all Android 7+ devices can be used as two-factor authentication when signing into Gmail, Drive, and other first-party services. Most modern iPhones can now be used as a built-in phone security key for Google apps.

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Google Account Stories December 16, 2019

Google reportedly blocking some Linux-specific web browsers from signing in to Google Account

When most people think of web browsers, the usual suspects come to mind — Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Opera, etc. — but over the history of the internet, far more browsers have been created. Recently, people who use some Linux-specific browsers, including Falkon, reportedly found themselves blocked from logging in to their Google Accounts, preventing the use of services like Gmail.

Google Account Stories October 21, 2019

Before today, your Gmail and Google Account profile images could be set independently of each other. Most people might have not been aware of this distinction, and Google is now combining them.

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Google Account Stories October 2, 2019

Originally announced as a Chrome Extension, Google is expanding and integrating Password Checkup across two key products. This feature, which checks the strength and security of your saved credentials, is coming to the Google Account’s built-in password manager and the Chrome browser.

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Google Account Stories August 22, 2019

Chrome for Android rolling out Google Account avatar, shortcut on New Tab page

Back in March, Chrome introduced a “Sync and Google services” section to bring together all Google-related browser preferences. Chrome for Android now has a shortcut to those settings right on the New Tab page.

Google Account Stories August 19, 2019

Announced at I/O 2019 amid a slew of other privacy commitments, Google Nest is starting the Nest to Google Account migration. An update to the Nest for Android and iOS clients today let you transition, with security and seamless integrations touted as advantages.

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Google Account Stories June 26, 2019

To take full advantage of Google services, Web & App Activity and Location History often have to be enabled on an account and device. At the same time, the company has been working to give end users more control over their privacy, and today is introducing an auto-delete feature.

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Google Account Stories June 25, 2019

The best way to protect online accounts is with a security key that ensures you’re the one signing in. However, enterprise users still have legacy systems like Internet Explorer or remote desktops that don’t support the new log-in method. Google now has security codes created using security keys for those scenarios.

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Google Account Stories May 21, 2019

Google stored some G Suite passwords in plaintext, free accounts not affected

Google today alerted G Suite admins about two incidents where users’ passwords were improperly stored. This security issue only impacts paid Google accounts and free consumers are not affected.

Google Account Stories May 17, 2019

Given how much of people’s lives are now online, security is of paramount importance. New research from Google this week shows how even adding a recovery phone number to your Account can do a great deal to prevent hijackings.

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Google Account Stories May 7, 2019

At I/O 2019, Google announced that moving forward its smart home products would be branded under “Nest.” The Home Hub became the Nest Hub, while the first product from this initiative is the Nest Hub Max. Meanwhile, Google confirmed that Home speakers will get Nest branding in the future, while Nest Accounts will be migrated to Google Accounts to address recent security issues.

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Google Account Stories April 23, 2019

For the past several months, Nest has been plagued with stories about its cameras getting “hacked.” The underlying issue is bad password management and reuse, with Google encouraging 2FA and actively reseting compromised passwords. A new report today reveals that Nest accounts could eventually use Google log-ins.

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Google Account Stories April 18, 2019

Last week at Cloud Next 2019, Google announced that all Android 7.0+ devices can serve as security keys. However, the reality is that most people do not use 2FA, and other methods are susceptible to man-in-the-middle attacks. Google is now working to counter MITM attacks by blocking sign-ins from embedded browser frameworks.

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Google Account Stories April 11, 2019

How to use your Android phone as a security key for your Google account

It’s not easy to keep our online lives secure, but Google is working to take some of the hassles out of it. Recently, the company announced that it would let users turn any Android Nougat smartphone into a security key for their Google account. Here’s how to do just that.

Google Account Stories February 5, 2019

Safer Internet Day is officially today, but Google is spending the entire week discussing security and launching new features. The first is a Password Checkup Chrome extension that will advise users to reset credentials breached on third-party sites, while Cross Account Protection extends first-party tools to re-secure breached Google Sign In apps.

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Google Account Stories December 17, 2018

One of the first places that the Google Material Theme widely rolled out to was the Google Account settings on Android. A similar revamp is now available on the web, with the new design sharing many similarities to mobile, but better optimized to take advantage of the bigger screen real estate.

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Google Account Stories October 31, 2018

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Google is announcing a slew of new features related to the sign-in process and account usage. New Google Account security protections include requiring JavaScript to be enabled when logging in and removing harmful apps during Security Checkup with Play Protect.

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Google Account Stories July 17, 2018

Google tweaks sign-in page again, tones down new Material Theme component

Google last month announced a new sign-in page for logging into your Google Account that takes advantage of several new Material Theme stylings. “Unforeseen delays” delayed that launch, but it is finally rolling out this week with one tweak.

Google Account Stories June 21, 2018

Online privacy has been a big focus for many tech companies this year, and Google is no exception. We’ve been tracking a redesign of the “Google Account” page for a while now, and today, Google is officially announcing that change.

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Google Account Stories June 14, 2018

Prior to I/O 2018, we enabled a redesigned look for Google Account settings on Android. Today, this Google Material Theme revamp for Google Account settings is widely rolling out. In addition to offering a new visual design, it is better at presenting key information.

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To allay privacy concerns about its ad-centric business model, Google since 2009 has maintained a centralized dashboard to control ads, with later tools allowing for muting and seeing why a specific ad was displayed. The latest change today redesigns Ad Settings with a focus on making it easier for users to understand and control.

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Google Account Stories June 7, 2018

Google Material Theme will come to the sign-in screen starting next week

Since I/O 2018, apps like Google Drive have joined Gmail, Google News, and more in adopting Google’s new Material Theme. The latest service to join is the Account sign-in screen, with an update coming later this month.

Google Account Stories May 25, 2018

Even before I/O 2018, Google’s latest iteration of Material Design began rolling out to various apps like Gmail and Google Tasks. Following the unveiling of Material Themingmore apps adopted it with many more updates expected. Today, the latest service to feature it is the Google sign-in page.

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Google Account Stories April 17, 2018

Google Assistant speakers — and upcoming smart displays — have wide access to your personal information from calendar appointments to shopping lists and can even make payments. Given this increased functionality, Google is now listing Home in the device section of My Account settings.

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Google Account Stories September 29, 2017

In light of high-profile hacks of political figures, especially during the 2016 US Presidential election, Google is working on new security tools. Aimed as a service for politicians and executives, it will replace two-factor authentication (2FA) and enforce other security policies.

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Google Account Stories September 8, 2017

With the Google Dashboard, users can see data and information about the various Google services they use. Featuring useful stats, it also provides quick shortcuts to individual product settings. The interface is being redesigned today with a more mobile and touch-friendly design.

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Google Account Stories June 1, 2016

voice-search

A year ago Google simplified security and privacy settings with a redesigned My Account page. On its one year anniversary, Google has announced that over a billion people have used the site and that several new features, like how to find a lost phone including Android and iOS, are being added.

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Google Account Stories February 8, 2016

PSA: Get 2GB of Drive storage by doing a security check on your Google account

As part of Safer Internet Day 2016, users who perform a security check on their Google account will get 2GB of additional free Drive storage. Those who did the promotion a year ago can even do it again and get the added storage.

Google Account Stories December 22, 2015

Screenshot 2015-12-22 at 12.03.53 PM

Google is a very security conscious company and always working on ways to keep users safe. They are currently testing a new way to sign into your Google account without needing to enter a password. One user on Reddit was invited to test the new method and posted detailed screenshots of the process.

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Google Account Stories November 4, 2015

Drive for Android adds sharing notifications, access to shared files without a Google account

Google Drive updates arriving today include new features for the Android app including sharing notifications and the ability to share with people without a Google account.

As part of its Drive mobile app updates today, both users of the iOS and Android apps can now enable notifications for when files are shared with them. Not only is it a notification, but it also acts as a quick links to jump right into the file or folder. And in addition, Google notes that “If a file/folder owner has notifications turned on and someone requests access to their content, the owner will be notified of the request instantly on their mobile device so they can quickly grant access.”

And while the Google Drive iOS app is getting what Google describes as a new consistent sharing experience (essentially bringing it up to par with Android), Android users are getting the ability to share with people without a Google account:

Until now, a Google Account was needed to view shared files on an Android device. Now, people can do this without a Google Account just like they can on the web.

The updated Google Drive app for Android is available now.

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