Helping high-risk users stay safe online
Helping people stay safe online is our top priority. That’s why we design our products with built-in protections and invest in global teams and operations to prevent abuse on our platforms.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in cybersecurity threats, especially for individuals and groups that tend to be at higher risk for online attacks, such as activists, journalists, election and campaign officials, and people working in public life. To help anyone at risk, we’re making our strongest security protections easily accessible and sharing more details about the best tools, tips, and resources people can use to protect themselves online.
- Enrolling in our Advanced Protection Program: We have dedicated teams of security professionals responsible for detecting and disrupting cyber threats to protect people all over the world. We have invested in advanced security solutions like our Advanced Protection Program (APP), which helps safeguard users from digital attacks, including sophisticated phishing attacks (through the use of security keys), malware and other malicious downloads on Chrome and Android, and unauthorized access to personal account data (such as Gmail, Drive, and Photos). APP is available to all users, but is specifically designed for individuals and organizations such as elected officials, political campaigns, human rights activists, and journalists, who are at higher risk of targeted online attacks.
- Keeping Google accounts secure and private: Our Security Checkup gives people personalized security recommendations and flags actions they should take to immediately secure their Google account. Additionally, Privacy Checkup provides helpful reminders of what activity is being saved, which third-party apps have permission to access user data, and the option to adjust user settings with simple controls. Both checkups take people through a step-by-step process to customize their security and privacy controls based on their individual preferences.
- Helping you control your online presence: On Google Search, we offer a set of policies and tools to help people take more control over how their sensitive, personally-identifiable information can be found. With the new Results about you tool, users can quickly and easily request the removal of personal contact information—like their home address, email address, or phone number—from search results. We also have a set of policies to allow people to request the removal of other types of highly personal content from Search that can cause direct harm, such as in cases of doxxing or information like bank account or credit card numbers that could be used for financial fraud. (It’s important to remember that removing content from Google Search won’t remove it from the internet entirely, so people may wish to contact the hosting site directly, if they’re comfortable doing so.)
- Making sign-ins more secure: We make signing into Google and user apps and services secure by default. We offer tools like Google Password Manager to help people create unique passwords, warn them if they’re compromised, and stop them from being entered into a malicious site. We also continue to encourage the adoption of 2-Step Verification (2SV), which provides an extra layer of sign-in security across a user’s account. And we’re always innovating new ways to make sign-ins safer and less painful.
- Exploring the online world safely: To help people stay safe and secure when browsing the web, especially on public or free WiFi, we recommend using Chrome and ensuring there is a gray locked icon in the URL field indicating a secure connection. Users should make sure the sites they visit utilize HTTPS, which indicates the browser or app is securely connected to the website they’re visiting. We also encourage people to use Chrome or Google Drive before downloading documents or opening suspicious email attachments. Both will automatically scan for viruses and make sure users are not being targeted by a phishing campaign.
We will continue to bring our strongest security protections to those who need them most, and build new tools that keep everyone, everywhere, safer. Visit our Safety Center to learn more.