Helping you get smarter with your data

It’s National Consumer Fraud Week and this year’s theme is Get Smarter with your Data. But as many of us are realising as we hear more about identify theft and its impact,  security-awareness should be a year-round activity.

Google protects your data by providing encryption when you’re signed into Gmail, Search, Drive and many other Google services. This stops others from snooping on your activity while you’re on an open network, like when you use your laptop at a cafe or access the web through a public WiFi connection.

However, this is useful only if the bad guys don’t have access into your accounts. That’s why we encourage you to secure your account with a 2-step verification process. This means that even if your password gets stolen, a thief cannot gain access to your account. The extra layer of protection is free to anyone with a Google Account.

We also make the web safer from phishing and malware every day with our Safe Browsing warnings in Chrome. Each day we find more than 7,500 unsafe sites, so when you use Google Search, or surf across to an unsafe page using your Chrome browser, we’ll display a warning and encourage you to go elsewhere. We also provide this intel to the Stop Badware coalition, so other service providers can make the web safer, too.

There are also some things you can do to help us keep your data safe and secure. For example, we recommend you take a quick Security Check-Up this week to review your current Google account settings.  Some of the important items included in the checkup include;
  • Recovery information: Adding a phone number can help us get in touch if you’re locked out of your account. We’ll only use your phone number to protect your account, unless you say otherwise.
  • Recent activity: This is a quick overview of your recent sign-ins to Google. If you see any activity from a location or device you don’t recognise, change your password immediately.
  • Account permissions: These are the apps, websites and devices connected to your Google account. Take a look and make sure you trust—and actually use—all of them. You might want to remove an old phone, or that dusty app you never use.
Getting smarter with your data can be as simple as using the tools already available to you - not just during National Consumer Fraud Week, but all year round.

Posted by Samantha Yorke, Public Policy and Government Affairs Counsel for Google Australia