Get Phone notifications on suspicious Google login activity

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 23, 2013
Updated • Jan 23, 2013

The majority of Internet users use Google for a variety of things, from searching the Internet to email, backing up data, monetizing their websites or authorizing their Android devices. It is therefore essential to protect the Google account as thorough as possible. A secure password is certainly helping a lot, but there are other things you can do to improve the security of your account.

One of the best options that you can enable in this regard is the 2-step verification that Google made available some time ago for all accounts. This links the account to a mobile phone number that is used to authorize login attempts. Instead of just entering your username and password to get access to the account, you are now also asked to enter a random code that is sent to your mobile phone the minute you log in to the account.

Even with all those precautions in place, it may make sense to make use of the notification options that Google makes available as well. What these are? Previously, you could configure the account to send notifications when the account password changes or when suspicious login attempts are recorded. The notifications make sense considering that there are ways to get past the defenses to change the account password after all.

Up until now, you could only enable email notifications. While this may be sufficient for most users, it could become a problem if the email address is the Google account email. Why? If a third party changes the account password, you can't check the emails anymore as you are trying to log in to Gmail with the old password.

google account notifications

Google has added phone notifications to the Google account security page which you can enable in addition to email notifications.

When you click on the phone box on the Account security page you are asked to enter your account password again. Once done, you are asked to select or enter the mobile phone number you want to receive the notifications on.

You will receive a verification code on that phone - even if it is already verified - to complete the process and enable phone notifications. Both options are checked by default in the end. (via)


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  1. Johny said on January 26, 2013 at 4:32 am

    I am not using Google Apps nor 2-step authentication, and I can’t see any notification options (not email notifications or anything). The options are “Change password”, “Password recovery options”, “Authorize applications & sites”, “2-step verification”, and “View and manage your accounts from other services”.

  2. browngeek said on January 24, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Hmm, can’t find this option in the security center (FYI, am using Google apps).

    Only options I have are “Your passwords and recovery options”. I don’t use Google 2 step verification because I have Lastpass with Yubikey. Is this option only available if you use Google two step verification?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

      It may not be available yet for Google Apps, can anyone confirm?

  3. Mike P said on January 24, 2013 at 3:41 am

    hmm— how about voice recognition?

  4. Mike P said on January 24, 2013 at 3:40 am

    I like the two-step notification. I think there can be too much reliance on passwords. Once– OK….. If people have to keep entering passwords, passwords will soon be simpler, and thus easier to crack. Or.. there will be programs to enter passwords, which lead, (or will lead if they are in fact not in place already), to a program to defeat a program, which can still be cracked. Where does all this end? Maybe I will go back to the telephone, and snail-mail.

  5. Matrix said on January 23, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Thank you, already done all unless notification phone and now I did it!

  6. Krishna said on January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I had already enabled two step verification. Now this also. Thanks.

  7. KoalaBear said on January 23, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks. Verified number and checked.

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