In context: Google user accounts are a lucrative target for hackers, considering the nature of the services and the number of people relying on them. It’s why Google auto-enabled 2FA for over 150 million users last year, including 2 million YouTube creators, in an effort to keep them safe online. The company recently revealed that this security step has halved the number of account breaches.
Despite two-factor authentication not being a foolproof security measure, it is nonetheless considered more effective than simply using a password for protection. Google has been one of the proponents of this sign-in mechanism, which it calls two-step verification (2SV). The company had also set a milestone of auto-enabling this feature for millions of Google accounts by the end of last year.
The bet seems to have paid off (somewhat), given that Google has since found a 50 percent decrease in the number of account breaches. Although this also means that a considerable quantity of Google accounts was hacked or compromised in some way, halving the occurrence among 2FA auto-enrolled users is an overall positive development in terms of online security.
Additionally, Google also revealed that it was bringing better protection for high-risk individuals like election workers, journalists and human rights workers ahead of the US midterm elections. The Campaign Security Project, as it’s called, involves Google working with organizations across the political spectrum and giving them tools for training candidates and campaign workers in regards to their online safety.
General users, meanwhile, will be able to benefit from Google’s account-level enhanced safe browsing. It’s an opt-in feature arriving next month designed to offer Google’s ‘broadest’ security protections against threats online and those targeting user accounts.
Moreover, the company also announced better privacy measures for its services, which include increased language support for accessing Guest Mode on Google Assistant-powered devices, Google One VPN support for iOS, and location sharing with family members for Google Fi users.