Once again, hackers have found a method to take advantage of a security feature you’ve come to rely on. Rather than alerting customers to possible illegal access, the Google Critical Security Message has been used as an opportunity for scammers. Learn how hackers are abusing this functionality and what to do if you receive an email with this subject line.
In order to keep their accounts safe, users need Google Critical Security Alert function, which alerts them whenever a new or different device is used to log in. Whether or not the individual signing in is the account’s legitimate user or a perpetrator is unknown. If you want to understand the usage of the Google Critical Security Message, you can read the research VeePN has done regarding it in detailed blog. It would help to understand difference between scam and real Google Security Alert.
In either case, Google will send an email to the account holder, urging them to double-check if they’ve logged into the account as they thought they had. Check your Gmail account for any unusual activity promptly if it was not a user.
The majority of users, especially those who have just purchased a new gadget, receive these alerts when logging in from their work computers or when browsing through a VPN or proxy server. This means that Google will see their connection as coming from a new or different device if they use the first option.
What Steps To Follow If You Receive a Google Critical Security Message?
Steps you take when you do end up receiving a Google critical security alert can determine the health and security of your email and associated apps.
- Check to see whether it’s authentic — are you using a new device to browse on? Or did you use a new device at work or borrow a friend’s smartphone to access your account? Google may have recognised a distinct IP address because of your VPN, which may have started automatically. A real false alarm may be possible if that’s the case.
- Take a look at who’s sending it – Check to see if the email originated from a Google account. In that case, don’t click on the link or send a response.
- Check for grammatical faults in the text — does it contain any? What about the tone of the content? Before sending an email, reputable companies take the time to carefully check it. A phishing email may have as few as one typographical error.
- Even if the email ‘tempts’ you to do so, resist the urge to click on any buttons, links, or download files.
- Checking your Google account security page, regardless of whether an email is valid or not, is the safest course of action. A list of all the devices currently signed in may be found here.
- Make sure to update your password as quickly as possible if you find out that the alert is real.
How Can You Remain Secure Against The Google Security Warning Scam?
How concerned are you about the security of your personal information? Many of us fall into this category. If you have any reason to believe that your account has been compromised, follow these steps to protect yourself.
- Make your password more secure by including both letters and digits. Google credentials should be deleted before using a password manager.
- Locate the malware and remove it manually if at all possible. Technical expertise may be required to complete this task. If this is something you’re not comfortable with, you might consider using a third-party malware antivirus/detection tool. If that’s the case, you’ll want to consult with an expert and delegate the task to them.
A large percentage of people have had their Google accounts hacked at some point in time due to the Google critical security alert scam.
What Can You Do If You Become a Victim of This Scam?
You may have clicked on a link, entered your personal information, or downloaded a file that was fake. It’s possible that hackers already have your password or have installed malicious software on your device, in which case you’re in big trouble.
Beware that if you have more than one Google account linked together then a critical security alert scam for your linked Google accounts may end up compromising all of these accounts.
If you’re a victim, it’s time to take action quickly. A hacker might potentially accomplish the following:
- If you’ve saved your credentials in your browser or on your hard drive, hackers can access them.
- Amend, steal, or delete your valuable files; take screenshots of the computer/desktop.
- Increase the number of viruses or adware on your computer;
- In order to avoid detection, install multiple copies of the same malware and run it in the background, especially if you were given permission to manually uninstall it.
Your first step as you go online should always be to ensure that you have a very strong security regimen in place. This is especially true if the said email is your work email and has business-critical information. Anyone can fall prey to the Google security alert scam easily, the trick is to ensure that you put in place as many security measures as you can to stay away from the scam in the first place.
One of the strongest security measures that you can take is to have a robust and secure VPN installed on your device and also ensure it’s on every time you connect to your email. This will create a barrier between your browsing and the hacker. The hacker will get routed through another server and there is a very high chance that their hacking attempt might fail. It is also important that you have very strong passwords that you never ever share with anyone else out there.
Surf the internet safely and make sure you use the best anti-hacking tips and tricks out there.