Google Chat update will stop you making a seriously costly mistake

Google Workspace
(Image credit: Google)

Google is rolling out an update for its productivity software suite that should stop workers falling victim to cyberscams.

As explained in a new blog post, Google Chat users will soon benefit from alert banners that warn against suspicious messages that may contain links to phishing sites or malware downloads.

Google says the new feature will be available across both mobile and web clients, and will help to “protect against malicious actors” and “keep data safe”.

Share your thoughts on cybersecurity and get a free copy of the Hacker's Manual 2022end of this survey

Share your thoughts on cybersecurity and get a free copy of the Hacker's Manual 2022. Help us find how businesses are preparing for the post-Covid world and the implications for their cybersecurity plans. Enter your email at the end of this survey to get the bookazine, worth $10.99/£10.99.

Google Chat attacks

Since the transition to remote working, businesses have had to worry about a wealth of new potential attack vectors, with employees no longer operating from within the safety of the corporate security perimeter.

There is also plenty of evidence to suggest the volume of attacks against employees has risen sharply since the start of the pandemic.

One of the most common threats is phishing, a type of social engineering attack whereby cybercriminals masquerade as a legitimate third-party in an effort to trick people into handing over passwords and other sensitive information.

Traditionally, phishing attacks have taken place over email, but attackers have had to become increasingly creative in order to bypass sophisticated filtration systems. Earlier this week, for example, it emerged that hackers are now utilizing fake chatbots to steal personal data and platforms like Google Forms have also been abused in support of phishing campaigns.

The latest Google Workspace update builds on recent upgrades for the company’s email and cloud storage services, both of which are already equipped with similar alert banner functionality. By extending the feature to its messaging service, Google hopes to close off another potential attack vector.

The new Google Chat feature should take effect within the next two weeks, and will be available to all Google account holders.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.