How the upcoming Google security features will safeguard user privacy

Google Security IO 2022 Source: Google


This week, Google hosted its annual I / O developer conference, where the company unveiled new software updates such as Android 13 and even some new hardware devices, including Pixel 6a, Pixel 7 and Pixel Watch. In addition, it also revealed a number of security and privacy features coming to its apps and services later this year.

Google says it wants to protect users’ privacy and wants to build a more secure Internet by making its products secure by default, private by design and giving the user control over their data. To achieve this goal, Google has announced several new features, such as account security status, automatic 2-step verification, virtual cards and others coming soon to their services. Here’s everything you need to know.


New security and privacy features announced on Google I / O 2022

When asked how people trust large technology companies with their data, users usually rate Apple higher than companies like Google and Meta, which are often found at the other end of the spectrum. But it seems that Google wants to change this perception. Here are some security and privacy features coming soon to Google apps and services.

Virtual maps

Google Virtual Map Source: Google

The trend of shopping online, getting things delivered directly to your mailbox is not slowing down, and more and more people are making online payments every day. As the use of cards online increases, the risk of your payment information being exposed to hackers and cybercriminals increases. To protect your payment information, such as credit / debit card numbers, CVVs and others, Google is launching a new feature called “Virtual Cards” on Chrome and Android.

Currently, when you pay for something online, you can automatically fill in payment information and card information using the Google pop-up menu. To add an extra layer of protection, Google is launching virtual cards that hide your actual card number from the payment system. It will replace your actual credit / debit card number with a separate virtual number. You will be able to generate, manage and view all the transactions on your virtual card from later this year. The feature is exclusive to the U.S. so far, but Google may want to expand it to other regions in the future. Virtual cards will support all Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Capital One cards at launch.

Google My Ad Center Source: Google

My Ad Center

Google ads are everywhere. Most of the sites you visit, on YouTube, on Android apps, and even in the Search and Discover feed, you can see a Google ad pretty much anywhere on the web. Google is currently customizing ads based on what you search, like, dislike and many more things. In 2022, Google will give you more detailed control over the type of ads you see.

Google has announced that it will launch a new “My Ad Center” that will give people control and an easier way to choose whether to customize your ads. “You will be able to choose the types of ads you want to see – such as fitness, vacation rentals or skin care – and learn more about the information we use to show them to you.” says the company. You’ll also be able to select certain types of ads so you never see them again. The company will roll out My Ads Center later this year.

Protected data processing

During the I / O keynote, Google announced that it was changing the way, how, and where data is processed. The company announced “Protected Computing” which will ensure the privacy and security of your data. Google says that advances in technology have made it possible to drastically reduce the amount of your personally identifiable data. The company says it intentionally adds “statistical noise” to remove your identity from your data. Finally, Google announced that they would continue to add end-to-end encryption to more and more services, making it impossible to access your sensitive data.

Remove personal information from Google Search

Removal of Google's Privacy Source: Google

With so much data scattered around the web, it is possible that some of your personal information, such as email address, phone number or home address, may appear in a Google search result. Google says it will now allow users to have their personal information removed from Google Search. This feature will be available in the Google app later this year. Additionally, you can also raise a request by clicking on the three dots next to individual Google search results.

Phishing protection and security status notification in multiple apps

Google Security Announcement Source: Google

Google already blocks phishing and spam messages in Gmail. The company says its system blocks nearly 15B of phishing emails every day. The company says it is now extending its “proven” phishing protection to Google Docs, Slides and Sheets. If you access a Google document, sheet, or slide that contains a phishing link, you will see an on-screen warning. In addition, the company says it is now expanding its account security status to more and more apps. If there is something wrong with the security of your account, a simple yellow warning icon will appear on your profile picture. It will then show actions you need to take to secure your account.

Automatic two-factor authentication

Google IO 2FA Source: Google

Google says it’s working to bring password-free log-in technology to people. However, to ensure secure login, multifactor authentication is very important. To make 2FA easier, Google brings one-click 2-step verification, which does not require the user to enter a six-digit authentication code. Instead, users can simply use their existing iOS and Android devices to approve login requests.

These are some of the features that will soon be coming to your Google accounts and services. Personally, I look forward to the Virtual Card feature. This technology is currently available in the Apple Card. When you use an Apple to make a non-Apple purchase online, it generates a random card number each time.

But the main difference between Apple’s and Google’s approaches is that Google’s Virtual Card technology works with almost all of the cards. The company has partnered with all the major card providers in the United States. It allows you to use your existing cards and will not be limited to one card. Which feature are you excited about? Tell us in the comments section below!

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