Google has so many security features for the Android OS that is so hard to keep up with them. There is the popular two-factor authentication that seems to be the most secured way to protect our Google accounts.
Yesterday, Google introduced another security measure designed to warn users about devices that have being used to sign into their accounts. What is the big deal you may ask? After all, Google already does that by sending email to users anytime a new or different device opens or tries to log into our accounts.
What is different about this new measure is that you get the notification right on your Android phone. That is, you don’t get it through your email. Which we all know you could miss if your email push notification is not working or you did not enable it.
Sometimes you just miss these notifications to your email for the simple reason that you did not check your email that day. In which case, if the notification was to warn you about hackers trying to gain access to your accounts, you would miss it and get into trouble.
This new method ensures you never get to miss any important notification from Google. It comes right to the notification bar of your phone.
The new initiative was announced in a blog post yesterday by Google:
Google offers useful and simple-to-use security features such as 2-Step Verification and Single Sign-On in order to protect users who connect to their accounts on multiple devices. One equally important component in keeping users secure is educating them on what’s happening with their accounts in real-time.
That’s why today, we’re pleased to release a new feature that notifies Android users of security events on their account: Android notifications for newly added devices.”
How it works
The blog post also outlined how the new service works.
When you try to open your Google account with a new device, the normal Android notification would immediately tell you about what you just did.
Another way of looking at it is that if somebody opens any of your accounts with a device that is obviously not your own, you get a notification on your own phone through Android notification.
That means, you get a notification even if the new device is thousands of kilometers from your own location. You will still get the notification.
If the new device logging in is unknown to the owner of the account, the account owner can immediately take steps to review what is taking place. Analyzing what is happening involves
- finding out the new device that was used to access the account
- Finding out the location from where the attempted login is coming from
- finding out other important information related to the login.
The user can then take an informed decision about what to do next. Of course, if the new device and the activity were expected, you, the account holder, can chose to ignore and dismiss the notification as usual.
Though the roll out of this feature is going to be gradual, the good thing is that all Android devices in all regions would get it sooner than later. This is not that annoying practice of restricting a new feature to certain regions initially.
For Android users, this is something to be cheered. Android users have suffered so much from hackers taking over their OS over the years in one way or the other. So anything that makes our Google accounts on Android more secure can only be good.
Users of iOS devices have not being informed if they would get the same service for their Google accounts.
image credit: clickstore.clickteam.com; Google