If you have a Google account, you may well have seen email notifications giving you a heads-up when a new device accesses it for the first time. It's a security feature, of course, intended to keep users aware of potential unauthorized access to their accounts.
That's handy, but it lacks the immediacy needed to deal with a situation in which someone might have gained access to your account without permission. While Google encourages users to take advantage of security features like 2-Step Verification and Single Sign-On, the company itself acknowledges that "one equally important component in keeping users secure is educating them on what's happening with their accounts in real-time."
With that in mind, Google is introducing native notifications on Android devices to alert users as quickly as possible when a new device has accessed their account for the first time.
"If the activity looks suspicious," Google explained, "the user can choose to “Review Account Activity,” and find out what device was added, from what location, and other important information. If the activity is expected, the user can dismiss it as any other notification."
Google says that by flagging suspicious activity with native notifications in its mobile OS, "users are up to four times as likely to review the information as compared to email notifications".
The new feature is rolling out now to "all end users", but Google points out that it may take "potentially longer than 14 days" to make it available to everyone.