Data security and privacy, although they go hand in hand, do not mean the same thing. And, like many other topics related to digital user defense, these are two terms that are not fully known by the vast majority of the population that surfs the web — and this brings a lot of risks to users. For some time now, Google has been implementing improvements to the graphical interface and making it easier to access tools and tips on the subject, and its new Security Center has everything to do with that. The news arrives this Wednesday (30) for everyone and brings changes significant ways to protect accounts and devices—something very welcome in times of high cybercrime around the world.
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The biggest difference is that, now, all of the products in the Google ecosystem are aligned in a “virtual counter”, where users can access each front to increase data protection and understand how security works ; and, in this way, prevent the information from being obtained illegally.
“What most motivates this change is Google’s desire to put the user in control. It came to include features and more tips, in a ‘one stop shop’ that allows users to find everything they want in one place. It facilitates the use of privacy and security settings, also including more tips”, explains Alê Borba, Google security analyst, in an exclusive interview to Canaltech.
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“The entire development process what we create at Google follows three fundamental principles: we build one of the most advanced security infrastructures in the world so that our products are protected by default; we strictly respect responsible data practices, so that every product we build is privacy by design, that is, it follows high standards of privacy since its inception; and we created easy-to-use privacy and security settings so that the user is in control of their own information”, emphasizes Alê.
To start, right away you can already see that all the main products in the Google ecosystem are listed side by side on the main interface. From there, you can enter each section to better define the privacy and security of each front — remembering, of course, that you must be logged in to the desired profile to make the changes.
A Two-Step Verification now has a dedicated walkthrough access, which is very important as this is the main extra layer of defense for everyone — and it’s the main tip suggested for those not very used to this type of configuration. It is worth noting that, in the pandemic, many people started using the devices and accounts more frequently. And cybercriminals have also begun to take more advantage of users who do not usually add another protective barrier.
The Security Check and the Privacy Check-Up are also worth mentioning. The first allows you to disconnect accounts logged into devices that are no longer in use. And the second brings important suggestions, such as the automatic deletion of web and app activities, as well as the location history or YouTube, for example.
“Besides, we’re not we are concerned only with the security of Google accounts, but also with the overall security of the Internet. Two-Step Verification is not only important for Google, but for other services as well. Our Password Manager is synchronized with data leaks and notifies you if the profile is in any of them; and it also tests your passwords, to see if they are weak, and suggests other combinations”, highlights Alê.
Google Maps Anonymous and Google Photos with Locked Folder
Two recent additions have also gained a special section in the new Google Security Center. On Google Maps, the user now has the option to enable Anonymous Browsing Mode, which does not save browsing and search histories to the account, nor does it send notifications; it also doesn’t update location tracks or shared locations.
In terms of privacy, maps can even show if a restaurant or supermarket is more or less full, but the tool won’t identify who exactly went through there, precisely to protect people’s data.
Google Photos has already gained an option that was initially only available on Pixel 3 or newer phones: the Locked Folder, which allows the user save photos and videos in a password-protected folder, without it being visible in the app library.
It is noteworthy that the Security Center also covers secure browsing services for 4 billion devices and Gmail, which, according to the company, blocks more than 30 millions of attempts of phishing daily.
O u User also needs to do his part
Many of the problems involving security and privacy happen due to the user’s lack of attention or lack of knowledge about your actions on the web. Scams involving social engineering, for example, take advantage of various information available on the web itself. So, Google also dedicates a good part of its new Security Center to educating Internet users about the issues.
“The last generation that probably lived without the Internet has more than
years of age, and often because they think that younger people understand more about technology, many of the older people fail to give directions. Thus, parents place the responsibility of protecting themselves on teenagers, who may even know better how to use technology, but they do not have the experience of differentiating the dangers of the web, such as fraud and scams”, comments Alê.
For this reason, the new Security Center is dedicated to distributing more hints across all configuration interfaces. Businesses have a lot of responsibility for setting security standards, but users need to be aware that their actions can make it easier for criminals. So, according to the security analyst, there is a constant concern to educate users, including in partnership with institutions.
And how should this new Security Center behave in relation to the constant evolution of crimes? “Just as the sky is the limit for the good things in technology, it’s also the limit for the bad things. It’s a cat and mouse game. Just as we are trying to prevent someone from illegally accessing data, there is always someone trying to cheat. So, the challenge is to be ahead of these bad actors”, concludes Alê.
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