Google has released a new security feature for the Android mobile operating system that will notify users through push notifications when a device has been added to their account.
Android protects users who access their account from multiple devices through several security features, including two-step verification and single sign-on. An important characteristic in making sure that Android users remain protected is the ability of the security measures to instantly inform users of anything that is going on with their Google accounts.
This characteristic is being applied to the new security feature. Previously, when a new device is added to a user's Google account, he or she is notified through a notification sent via email. With the update, users will now be receiving the information through push notifications on their Android devices.
If the activity is expected, the notification can be dismissed just like any other Android notification. If the activity reveals to be suspicious to the users, however, they can opt to tap on the Review Account Activity option that will accompany the notification. What will be displayed next is a screen that includes the kind of device that was added to the user's Google account or used to access the account, the time that it accessed the account, the location of the device, the software it used and its IP address.
The screen will also ask if the user recognizes the device that was added to his or her Google account, along with two possible options for answers. The first option will confirm that the device is really owned by the Google account owner, and the second option will move to secure the user's account as it is possible that another person was able to acquire the account's password.
The updated security feature, according to Google, will increase the transparency to users on the actions being performed on their account and will allow them to easily flag suspicious activities. Compared to the previously used email notifications, Google said that users are four times more likely to review information when it comes in the form of Android notifications.
The update that includes the new security feature has been launched on both the Rapid and Scheduled release tracks, with a gradual rollout that could take longer than 14 days for the feature to become visible to users.
The new security feature comes just before Google is expected to release the next major version of its mobile operating system, Android 7.0 Nougat, on Aug. 5.