Staying secure, while using zillions of those web services is at the top of everyone’s mind, and it is during times, such as these that one values being forewarned of potential dangers. Google will now promptly issue a warning to those users, who they feel may become the target of state-sponsored attacks, as part of their activity involving looking out for malicious activity on the web and taking appropriate actions. “We are constantly on the lookout for malicious activity on our systems, in particular attempts by third parties to log into users’ accounts unauthorized. When we have specific intelligence—either directly from users or from our own monitoring efforts—we show clear warning signs and put in place extra roadblocks to thwart these bad actors,” added Google in an official post.
Eric Grosse, VP Security Engineering, further highlights in the official post that a warning appearing, such as one in the image below does not necessarily mean that the user’s account has been tampered with, but means that Google believes that that particular user account may be a target of malware or phishing and that the user should take steps immediately to protect his account.
Forewarned is forearmed
Taking it further, Google advises that in case a user finds a warning, as aforementioned on his page, he should –
- Create a unique password, i.e one with a good mix of capital and lowercase letters, as well punctuation marks and numbers;
- Enable 2-step verification as additional security;
- and update his browser, operating system, plugins, and document editors.
The official post also educates readers about the fact that most times, attackers send links to fake sign-in pages attempting to steal a user’s password, and hence a user ought to be careful about where he signs into Google and look out for the https://accounts.google.com/ in his browser bar. The post, however immediately adds in, “These warnings are not being shown because Google’s internal systems have been compromised or because of a particular attack.”