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In a report on Friday, Google highlights the importance of linking a phone to an account when it comes to fighting hijacking attempts from automated attempts from bots, phishing, and targeted attacks. An email address is at the center of our online life, essential for creating accounts to web services and for receiving communication more or less sensitive in nature. Moreover, providers of a large host of services, like Google and Microsoft, have moved to the single sign-in system where the same username and password to access all services from the same provider. On top of this, these accounts can be used to sign up or log into third-party services. It's no wonder email accounts are coveted by hackers of any sort. Account hijacking attempts occur every day, by the hundreds of thousands, and companies like Google have developed defenses against these threats. Adding a recovery phone number to the Google account seems to be an effective way to win against take-over attacks, especially if they are not targeted. A study from academic researchers shows that where a Google account was linked to a phone, the takeover prevention rates went up as much as 100% in the case of automated bots, as high as 99% with run-of-the-mill phishing, and up to 90% with targeted attacks. According to a study from researchers from New York University and Google real-world efforts to hijack a Google account were mostly ineffective against device-based challenges. More detailed information is posted on OUR FORUM.

 

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