As part of Safer Internet Day, Google is releasing a variety of security features to better protect people as they browse the internet. Chief among these is the SafeSearch filter for underage users, which is expanding and will become the default setting for all.
This means Google Search will automatically blur explicit images appearing in search results even if you don’t have the filter enabled. The reason for the expansion,
according to the company, is to make sure that users, especially minors, don’t inadvertently run into explicit content on Search. Users will be able to either disable the new blur at any time or make it stricter. As it currently stands, the feature doesn’t mask any texts or links to explicit content. However, looking at the images on Google’s post, it appears you can turn on the new filter setting to do just that.
Users over the age of 18 will see the new default setting within “the coming months” as it rolls out periodically. Instructions on how to tweak SafeSearch can be found on
Google’s Search Help webpage.
Besides the SafeSearch change, Google is adding three other security tools to its other platforms.
Google Password Manager on the Chrome browser and Android will begin supporting biometric authentication to verify your identity. The announcement states this feature can be used to “securely reveal, copy, or edit passwords saved” on the Password Manager without having to type them in every single time.
virtual cards, which are “unique numbers for online transactions [that keep] your payment information safe,” will now be available to “American Express customers”—so long as you’re eligible.
As for the final feature, iOS users will be able to use Face ID to protect their privacy in the Google app and prevent unwanted access. It’s unknown if an Android version is in development.
The release date for these tools is unknown, as Google does not specify whether they will be available soon or months later, as with the SafeSearch change. We reached out to ask if the company could give us a launch window for three tools. This story will be updated if we hear back.
Over the past couple of years, Google has been consistently working on improving its family-centric features, like the
revamped Family Link app with updated parental controls and smarter Google TV recommendations. But if you want more, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best identity theft protection plans for families. These applications will keep bad actors from accessing sensitive information as well as warn you of any suspicious activities.