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Google boosts Gmail security with a new verification check

Google added tighter security measures to Workspace last year, and now they're coming to personal Gmail accounts.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Security alert on laptop
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Google introduced new safety features last year to keep Workspace accounts safe when certain changes are made. Now, they're rolling out those precautions to personal accounts, too. 

Starting today, undertaking "sensitive actions" in your Gmail account will cause a verification box to pop up, which will help ensure the person making the changes is authorized. 

Also: How to optimize your Gmail inbox layout 

What does "sensitive" mean? Google defines that term in three ways. The first area where you'll see this new prompt is when you create, edit, or import a filter for incoming messages. The second area is when you add a new forwarding address, and the third is when you enable an IMAP access, or change the settings that allows you to check Gmail through other platforms. The last option is enabled by an administrator for Workspace, so you might not see a popup on a work account. 

Changing those settings could let someone with malicious intent access your emails without your knowledge, which explains why Google has made verification a priority. 

Google security alert

When a change to one of those settings is made, Google will pop up a verification prompt, and the user will need to perform two-step authentication to confirm they are the account holder. If verification either isn't finished or the user clicks 'No', access will be cut off. A 'Criticial Security Alert' popup will then be sent to all verified devices. 

Also: How to revoke third-party app access from your Google Account

The tech company says this security feature will be available to all personal and work Google accounts, and will begin rolling out today. 

Users don't need to enable anything to set up the new security measure. When I tested the feature on my personal account, I was able to make changes to filters and add a new forwarding address without the verification popping up, but Google says the changes could take up to 15 days, or until September 6, to reach everyone.

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