Google Rolls Out New Data Protection Tools

Google Rolls Out New Data Protection Tools

In a blog post Tuesday, Google announced two new updates to help users protect their data: Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection.

In a blog post Tuesday, Google announced two new updates to help users protect their data: Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection.

Password Checkup is a new extension that can be added to the Google Chrome browser. If Password Checkup detects that a username and password on a site visited by the user is one of more than 4 billion compromised credentials of which Google is aware, the extension will automatically warn the user and suggest they change their password.

Cross Account Protection addresses data security problems raised by using Google Sign In to sign into apps with a Google Account. As Buzzfeed News explains, it’s currently difficult for one identity provider, like an email, to alert other services a user logs into with that email when there’s a security problem with the account. If a Google account is hacked, the hacker could use Google Sign In to access that user’s other accounts that use Google Sign In.

Cross Account Protect aims to fix this vulnerability. When apps and websites implement the tool, Google is able to send them information about security issues to those apps and websites so they can alert the user.  Google said in its blog post that it has designed the security issues to be “extremely limited to protect your privacy:

  • We only share the fact that the security event happened.
  • We only share basic information about the event, like whether your account was hijacked, or if we forced you to log back in because of suspicious activity.
  • We only share information with apps where you have logged in with Google.”

“People have data stored in lots of different places, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult for them to keep it all locked down and protected,” Mark Risher, a director of product management who runs Google's identity team, told BuzzFeed News. “Effectively what we’re trying to accomplish is to make the internet safer.”

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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