Everything in the news about Google lately seems to be about pulling out of China but in the cybercrime world the good news is that Google has added a new security measure to Gmail that can help notify users of hackers potentially hijacking their email account.
A new Geolocation function within Gmail, Google's popular email service, is aimed at preventing email hacking. Gmail's geolocation feature will display a very noticeable red banner on the interface if it detects that a recent login has happened from a different geographic region than normal. Basically, if you normally login from your home or work PC located in a specific city in the United States then someone hacks your Gmail account and logs in from a European country, then the geolocation service's red banner alert will become active during your next login. You will immediately know that someone from a different location last logged in to your Gmail account.
In the case that you travel to a new location and log into your Gmail account, you can easily verify your location-login as being legitimate and not a hacker. Google will provide a link to quickly change your password if the red banner has been activated upon your next login session.
How does the geolocation service know where you are located? It is rather simple, the geographical location of your IP address can be traced. There are several IP address tracking services available over the internet. Although the location of an IP address is not 100% accurate in some cases; however, it provides Google's Gmail geolocation service with enough information to determine if someone from a different region or state has access to your Gmail account.
Commonly, hackers will use your email to obtain personal information in an attempt to gain access to online banking accounts or steal your identity. These are serious crimes and Google has taken one giant step to help you avoid becoming the next victim of an email scam. The geolocation service is expected to be applied to other Google Apps in the future.
Do you think if more email providers and online services offered geolocation protection features that we would see a drastic reduction in cybercrime? Will you look forward to utilizing this new service with your Gmail account or do you think it is an invasion of privacy?