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Google will soon send critical security alerts inside first-party apps, Assistant guest mode coming

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness month, with Google yesterday highlighting what Chrome is doing to protect user privacy and security. Today, the company announced a Google Assistant guest mode and in-app critical security alerts.

Google today can quickly warn users about security and account issues by sending Android (Play Services) notifications. Since 2015, this has resulted in a “20-fold increase in the number of people that engaged with these new notifications within an hour of receiving them, compared to email.”

Critical alerts are now coming directly inside Google’s first-party apps. The profile avatar in the top-right corner of every application will pulsate red and be badged with a red exclamation mark.

When we detect a serious Google Account security issue, we’ll automatically display an alert within the Google app you’re using and help you address it—no need to check email or your phone’s alerts

A card will note how “suspicious activity has been detected in your account.” The big “Check activity” button will open the message immediately to provide mode details and let you take action. These new alerts are resistant to spoofing. A limited rollout will begin in the coming weeks and Google plans to more widely launch this capability early next year.

Meanwhile, Google Assistant is getting a guest mode as “there are times you may not want your Assistant interactions saved to your Google Account.” After enabling with a voice command, all subsequent queries will not be saved to your account. This incognito mode for Assistant is rolling out in the coming weeks.

On the location front, Google will let users directly edit Location History data from the Google Maps Timeline. This includes adding or editing places you’ve visited. Lastly, Search will display your personal security and privacy settings when you look up related queries.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: