Google rolls out new warnings for G Suite and Apps Script

Google today started rolling out new warnings for G Suite and Apps Script to inform users about the potential dangers of new web apps. The company also plans to expand its verification process to existing apps “in the coming months.”

Although Google won’t say so explicitly, this is a response to the widespread “Google Docs” phishing email that affected many Google users in May. At the time, Google disabled the accounts responsible for abusing the OAuth authorization. A week later the company tightened the review process for web apps that request user data, and earlier this month it beefed up G Suite security with OAuth apps whitelisting. Now the company is preparing new warnings for unverified apps.

Starting today, G Suite users will see a new “unverified app” screen for new web applications and Apps Scripts that require verification. This interstitial precedes the permissions consent screen for the app and replaces the “error” page that developers of unverified web apps currently receive. The goal is to let potential users know that the app has yet to be verified in the hope of reducing the risk of user data being phished.

When users try to use an app that needs to be verified, they will be alerted after selecting their account, and then will be directed to the standard consent screen. A side benefit of this is that because the interstitial can be dismissed, developers can now test their applications without having to go through the OAuth client verification process (more information).

Starting this week, new Apps Scripts requesting OAuth access to data from consumers or from users in other domains will also see the above “unverified app” screen (documentation). Additionally, Apps Script users will also see new cautionary language reminding them to “consider whether you trust” an application before granting OAuth access, as well as a banner identifying web pages and forms created by other users.

Again, all of the above is for new apps. For existing apps, Google is recommending that developers verify their contact information is up to date because the company will getting in touch in the coming months. If you’re a developer, make sure the appropriate accounts are granted either the Project Owner or Billing Account Admin IAM role in the Google Cloud Console and that the OAuth Consent Screen configuration is correct in API Manager.

[“Source-venturebeat”]

Google rolls out new protections against phishing plugins

Google is making it even harder to accidentally install a malicious plugin. Today, the company announced new changes to the way Google services handle plugins, adding new warnings for users and a more involved verification system for apps. The result is more scrutiny on apps plugging into Google services, and more active involvement from Google when an app seems suspicious.

The changes come after a sophisticated phishing worm hit Google Drive users in May, masquerading as an invitation to collaborate on a document. The malicious plugin was not controlled by Google, but because it was named “Google Docs,” the app was able to fool many users into granting access. Once granted access, it sent a new request to everyone in the target’s contact list, allowing the app to spread virally. Ultimately, the app was blacklisted by Google, but not before it reached tens of thousands of users.

Today, such an attack would be much harder to perform. Shortly after the worm, Google strengthened its developer registration systems, making it harder for anonymous actors to plug unknown apps into Google accounts. The announcement today takes that system even farther, warning users whenever an unverified app requests access to user data.

Malicious or compromised plugins remain a significant security risk for Google and other platforms, as a string of recent incidents have demonstrated. The security group OurMine has specialized in those attacks, posting false messages from accounts controlled by Sundar Pichai, Jack Dorsey, and Sony Music, which tweeted a false report of Britney Spears’ death.

In each case, OurMine gained access by compromising a third-party application which was authorized to post to the targeted account. An active social media user might have hundreds of plugins authorized to access their Twitter or Facebook account, giving hackers hundreds of potential ways in. Users can protect against these attacks by monitoring authorized applications, and revoking access for any apps they no longer use.

[Source:-theverge]

Google Calendar finally supports iOS Today Widgets

Google Calendar finally supports iOS Today Widgets

If you’re a devout iPhone user but also rely on Google Calendar to manage your schedule over Apple’s default offering, there’s an awesome new feature for the iOS app that might make your busy day a bit easier. A new update to the Google Calendar app introduces support for iOS’s Today View widgets, those mini app features that can be found to the left of the lock screen. This means instead of opening the app, a glance at your upcoming events are just a swipe away.

When you add Google Calendar to the Today View, the by default the widget will display the next two upcoming events. This can be expanded by tapping the “Show More” button, allowing a total of six events to be displayed.

Alternatively, instead of swiping over to the Today View from the home or lock screen, iPhone 6s and 7 users can use a 3D Touch gesture on the app icon to view this same schedule preview.

That’s really all there is to it. It may not sound like much, especially since by default Apple’s Calendar app has both Today and What’s Next widgets, but this is the first time Google Calendar has had any widget, and for those users easier access to their schedule is always a nice option.

[“Source-slashgear”]

Google Calendar for iOS Update Finally Brings the Today Widget, More

Google Calendar for iOS Update Finally Brings the Today Widget, More

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The update is already available on App Store
  • The app widget shows two upcoming events by default
  • The widget can be extended to see up to four upcoming events

Google Calendar app for iOS has finally received a feature that should have ideally been added long time ago by the company – the Today Widget. While iOS has been supporting widgets for some time now, the search giant has only now added the Today Widget to its Calendar app on the platform that allows users to see the upcoming events from the home screen itself.

With Google Calendar for iOS version 2.4.0 update, which is already available in the App Store, Google has added support for Today Widget to the calendar app and users will now be able to see two upcoming events by default in the Today View section, as pointed out in a report by 9To5Mac. This can further be expanded to see four upcoming events.

Notably, Google Calendar users can also get a glance of upcoming events on iPhone 6s and later by using 3D Touch – hard pressing the app’s icon on the Home screen. In order to add the Today Widget, just like you add other widgets, you will need to swipe right from the Home screen and tap on the edit button at the bottom of the screen.

“Today Widget – Get a quick look at your day’s events directly in the Today View of your iPhone or iPadthanks to the new Calendar widget,” the company said in its changelog for the update.

Let us know in comment section down below if you will be using the widget going ahead or think that there are other calendar apps that offer more utility.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Google Calendar’s new Today widget for iOS means you’ll never miss another important date again

Keeping track of birthdays, meetings and other important events just got a lot easier for iPhone and iPad users.

Google has released a new Today widget for iOS designed to help you stay on top of your busy schedule.

The feature will bring up a quick view of the next two events in your diary for the day when you swipe right from the home or lock screen.

Scroll down for video 

Keeping track of birthdays, meetings and other important events just got a lot easier for iPhone and iPad users, thanks to Google's new Today widget (pictured)

Keeping track of birthdays, meetings and other important events just got a lot easier for iPhone and iPad users, thanks to Google’s new Today widget (pictured)

The widget was introduced to the App Store with the release of the latest version of Google Calendar, version 2.4.0, released on July 6.

This is the first time Google Calendar has released a widget for iOS, nearly three years after widgets first launched on the operating system.

It features a Show More button in the top right hand corner that will reveal another two upcoming dates.

These may be from the following day, if you have two or fewer events planned for today according to reports in 9to5Mac.

To access the widget, you will need to update to the latest version of Calendar.

Once installed, you can add it by swiping right from the Home screen and tapping the Edit button at the bottom of the search screen.

On the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7, the preview can also be accessed by using the 3D Touch gesture on the Google Calendar icon.

 

To do so, you simply push down hard on the Google Calendar home screen icon.

Announcing the new feature on Twitter, a Google spokesman said: ‘Get your day at a glance, right from your homescreen thanks to our new Today widget for iOS.’

Google recently updated its Calendar app to include a Families feature.

The feature will bring up a quick view of the next two events in your diary for the day when you swipe right from the home or lock screen (pictured)

The feature will bring up a quick view of the next two events in your diary for the day when you swipe right from the home or lock screen (pictured)

The widget was introduced to the App Store with the release of the latest version of Google Calendar, version 2.4.0, released on July 6 (pictured)

The widget was introduced to the App Store with the release of the latest version of Google Calendar, version 2.4.0, released on July 6 (pictured)

Announcing the new feature on Twitter (pictured), a Google spokesman said: 'Get your day at a glance, right from your homescreen thanks to our new Today widget for iO.'

Announcing the new feature on Twitter (pictured), a Google spokesman said: ‘Get your day at a glance, right from your homescreen thanks to our new Today widget for iO.’

Writing on a blog post about the service Anita Yuen, director of product management lead for families at Google, said: ‘Popcorn. Snuggles. Sniffles. Families share a lot of stuff.

‘And now we’re making it even easier to share and stay connected with each other by giving you more to do with your family group on Google.

‘Now whether it’s a new TV show on your DVR, the soccer practice schedule, this week’s to-do list, or family photos from over the weekend, families can do more with YouTube TV, Google Calendar, Keep and Photos.’

GOOGLE’S NEW FAMILIES FEATURE LETS YOU EASILY SHARE DATES AND REMINDERS

Sharing content and keeping track of important events with your family just got a lot easier, thanks to a new feature being introduced by Google.

The firm’s Families option allows you to send multimedia, including photos, notes, and dates for your diary, with multiple people at the click of a button.

The feature will expand upon sharing options currently available on some of the company’s key apps.

A new 'family group' option will appear in Google Photos (pictured), allowing videos and images to be shared with the group with a few taps of the screen

A new ‘family group’ option will appear in Google Photos (pictured), allowing videos and images to be shared with the group with a few taps of the screen

Google already offers the option to share Android apps, movies, music, ebooks and YouTube TV shows with your family.

The new Families feature brings together these existing functions and adds additional apps under one  umbrella.

Families will allow you to create a group of up to six people, including yourself, that will enable one click sharing across a number of useful apps.

This includes Google Calendar, the Keep note app, and Photos.

Collaborative Keep notes can be created (left), so that you and your loved ones can keep track of shopping and “to do” lists. And a group calendar will also be automatically created, enabling each member of your family to add important upcoming events

To set up a family group, visit Google’s Families page.

A new option will then appear in Photos, allowing videos and images to be shared with the group with a few taps of the screen.

A group calendar will also be automatically created, enabling each member of your family to add important upcoming events.

And collaborative Keep notes can be created, so that you and your loved ones can keep track of shopping and “to do” lists.

[“Source-dailymail”]

Google My Business website builder SEO review

Google officially launched its Website Builder within Google My Business in an effort to help small businesses easily and affordably create websites. This is a great initiative, as there are many small businesses that do not have a website.

Google’s Marissa Nordahl made the announcement it in a Google My Business Help thread on Tuesday, June 13. Here is what she wrote:

One of the most common actions people take when exploring a Google listing is to go to the website, but we know that getting a website can still be a challenge for a lot of small business owners around the world: too complex, too expensive, too time consuming. Millions of small businesses (60% of small businesses globally) don’t yet have a website.

Website is a free tool that allows small business owners to create a simple, striking website in just a few minutes. It’s easy, and you can create and edit your new website from your computer or your phone!

Costs

The tool is free to use, but to get a custom domain (such as a .com, .biz or .net), you will have to purchase a domain through Google domains, or else you will be stuck with an ugly URL such as yourbusinessname.business.site — which, presumably, would be less memorable to users and lack the ranking potential of a .com site.

Features

Some notable features of the Website Builder include the following:

  • It’s free to use.
  • You get a custom domain name (at an additional cost).
  • It’s mobile-friendly.
  • It automatically updates.
  • You can manage it on your mobile phone.
  • You can easily place ads on the site.

Note that you need to have a verified listing on Google My Business to use the website builder. A quick site:business.site check within Google shows about 113,000 results, which consist of both US and international small business owners. Business types include real estate, travel & tourism, computer training and software, summer camps, pest control and many others.

Google My Business Website Builder Usage

Test drive

I decided to take a stab at creating my own site for a mock local business profile I created and verified. The process took me just over five minutes to get up and running. Here is what the site looks like: http://tony-seo-shop.business.site/

Tony's SEO Shop Website

 

Here are some screen shots of the process for creating and editing the site.

First, I added my business profile and verified it.

Once I finished creating my business profile, I was prompted to create a free website.

Once I selected a URL for my site, I was given the option to buy a custom domain.

Within the website builder, you have multiple theme options. You can select the color scheme and font that best fits your business branding.

You have the option to edit site elements such as Headline, Description and Body content.

You have the ability to change your site address, buy a custom domain or unpublish your website.

My initial impressions

So, how does the Website Builder hold up, particularly with regard to SEO best practices? Here are my thoughts.

The good

  • Easy to create a website.
  • Can be highlighted as your website on your Google My Business Profile.
  • Easy to add custom cover photo, images, etc.
  • Includes Google Map embed and highlights contact and business hours info.
  • Can easily be managed in your Google My Business Profile.
  • Mobile-friendly.

The bad

  • One-page site, no option to create additional pages.
  • No ability to add custom page titles and meta descriptions (or any type of meta, for that matter).
  • No Analytics integration.
  • Lacks social sharing buttons.
  • Lacks the ability to add structured data markup. Local Business Schema being the most relevant for small businesses.
  • Cannot add alt text to images.
  • Cannot add additional call-to-action buttons.

As you can see, there are quite a few negatives from an SEO perspective. Hopefully, Google will continue to update and expand this tool to provide businesses with more robust functionality.

Should small business owners use the Google My Business website builder?

As usual, the answer is, “It depends.” If you absolutely don’t have the time to build a small, four- to five-page website on a more robust platform such as a Squarespace or Yola, then you should leverage this tool. At a bare minimum, I would recommend purchasing a custom domain rather than using the default URL.

In my opinion, there are many free alternatives which offer more customization and are more SEO-friendly — even Google’s free blogging platform, Blogger.com, is more SEO-friendly. However, if you’re not in a competitive local market, and you want a one-page website that you can manage from within your Google My Business dashboard, this simple website builder may be for you.

[“Source-searchengineland”]

Google updates kids animation app Toontastic 3D with new Cars 3 and Fruit Ninja themes

Earlier in the year, Google released the impressive Toontastic 3D. The digital storytelling app was a follow up to the original Toontastic game by educational developer LaunchPad Toys, which was acquired by Google in 2015. The app allows kids to draw and animate their own stories to create a 3D video. The budding directors can even narrate their creations and add built-in songs to the soundtrack before sharing. In the latest update, Google adds new characters and settings as part of two additional themes.

The first of the new themes is movie tie-in with the imminent Cars 3. The Disney/Pixar franchise is incredibly popular with young children, and they will surely relish the chance to create their own Cars story arcs. They’ll be able to animate their anthropomorphic hero Lightning McQeen, alongside new additions to the series such as Jackson Storm, Cruz Ramirez, and Miss Fritter, against the backdrop of two locations from the film: Florida 500 raceway and Thunder Hollow demolition derby.

A behind-the-scenes video tour of Pixar’s studios will also be included in the app, in a bid to show kids how real animated films are made and further stoke their interest in filmmaking. It’s worth noting that the Cars 3 theme will only be available for a limited time, up to September 30th.

The second set of new characters available in this Toontasic 3D update comes from melon-slicing game Fruit Ninja, or more specifically from the animated YouTube series Fruit Ninja Frenzy Force. You’ll be able to take control of protagonists such as Peng, Seb, Niya, and Ralph, leading them into battle against their nemesis, Clean Bee. It’s unclear how long the Fruit Ninja theme will be available, but I’d suggest making the most of it soon – just in case.

If you (or your kids) haven’t tried it yet, I’d thoroughly recommend the app. It really gets the balance right between fun and education. You can download or update to the latest version of Toontastic 3D via the Play Store link below, or grab it manually from APKMirror.

[“Source-androidpolice”]

Nursery review ratings now showing in Google search results

Leaving your child in someone else’s care can be extremely hard for parents who can find their first days back at work are consumed by anxiety and guilt. Finding the right nursery can be difficult as parents will want one that is easy to get to but also one that has been judged to be of a good standard by education regulators such as Ofsted, Estyn or the Care Inspectorate.

However parents will also want a nursery they can trust where their child feels happy and content and where the staff are warm and caring. The only way of finding this out is to ask other parents.

daynurseries.co.uk teams up with Google

Now daynurseries.co.uk, the leading nursery reviews website, has made things even easier for parents and carers, by teaming up with Google so people can quickly see a nursery’s average review rating.

Oli Blackwell, technical director of daynurseries.co.uk, said: “We are very pleased to take advantage of a recent Google update that enables service based businesses such as nurseries to use their reviews from third party review websites, like daynurseries.co.uk, to generate a rating against their own listing in Google’s search results. We expect to see a significant impact to the Click Through Rate, for day nurseries and nursery schools which enable this feature.”

The best way to find out the quality and standard of a nursery is to ask the parents whose children go there. daynurseries.co.uk features reviews from parents and relatives giving a clear and accurate picture of a nursery in terms of its staff, facilities, food, care, activities and learning.

There are currently over 23,000 reviews of day nurseries and nursery schools on daynurseries.co.uk making it the go to site for anyone looking for a nursery.

Trust factor

For childcare providers, having their nurseries given star ratings by Google, is a definite bonus. As many people now search for a nursery online, the first place they will look is Google. Highly rated nurseries on Google can expect to get more traffic than those with no ratings due to the trust factor.

Childcare providers can ensure their nursery gets these valuable star ratings by using daynurseries.co.uk’s review widget which also displays their latest daynurseries.co.uk reviews on their own website.

Mr Blackwell added: “The widget is very quick and easy to add to your website, and once embedded on your website the widget will automatically display your latest new reviews. Groups can create separate review widgets for each of their locations on their website.”

Once the daynurseries.co.uk review widget is embedded on the childcare provider’s website, Google will then display their daynurseries.co.uk average review rating.

Nursery reveals ‘traffic to its website has increased’

Mandy Richardson, owner of Naturally Learning nurseries has been using the daynurseries.co.uk review widget on their website since it was first introduced in 2016. She said: “It’s an ideal way of highlighting the excellent reviews left by parents, right at the moment that potential customers are considering us and browsing our website.

“We know that one of the biggest influences on parents looking for a nursery is feedback from others, and the daynurseries.co.uk widget is a highly visible demonstration of that feedback. It also updates automatically each time a new online review is left, without us having to do anything, which saves us time and keeps our listing fresh.”

She has found “traffic to the website has increased since the star rating started appearing in Google search results – those bright yellow stars right at the top of page one of Google really stand out, making it an effective part of our SEO strategy.”

The rating displayed in Google search results which is out of five uses part of the childcare provider’s daynurseries.co.uk review score.

The daynurseries.co.uk review score which is out of 10 is based on the average rating out of five and the number of positive reviews out of five.

[Source:-Daynurseries]

Google Sends New Round of Outdated Plugin Warnings

Revolution Slider was the reason why hundreds of thousands of WordPress blogs were exploited by hackers back in 2014.  And one of the problems was that this plugin came as part of a WordPress theme bundle, and so they weren’t installed individually for site owners to update the plugins via the WordPress plugin dashboard.

Previously, Google has sent out update reminders to site owners using various plugins as well as outdated versions of WordPress and Joomla.  It isn’t known if this latest round is just for the Revolution Slider plugin but there are many plugins out there that are exploitable by hackers if they are not updated or removed.

It is also a reminder that site owners should always ensure their CMS as well as plugins are up-to-date.  There have been many issues of exploits with popular plugins including ones by Yoast, Shareaholic, WP Super Cache, and more.

This isn’t a manual action, however, if the site does get hacked, Google can flag the site in the search results as being hacked or unsafe, and can remove it until the problem is resolved.

Don’t forget that if you have been hacked with this plugin, simply updating the plugin will not remove the hacked content.  You will still need to remove the hacked content separately.

[Source:-The Sem Post]

Trump executive order prompts Google to recall staff

Google has recalled travelling staff members to the US after an executive order from President Donald Trump restricting entry for nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries.

Syrian refugees are banned from entry until further notice, the order says.

Nationals of six further countries, including Iran and Iraq, will be banned from entering the US for 90 days

The entire US refugee admissions programme is suspended for 120 days, and a lower cap on numbers introduced.

On Saturday several Iraqi passengers and a Yemeni national were prevented from boarding a flight at Cairo airport bound for New York, despite holding valid visas for the US.

The American Civil Liberties Union says it has filed a suit challenging the executive order. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) also says it will file a lawsuit.

Google has told the BBC it is concerned about the order and any measures which could block great talent from the US.

The new restrictions will have a major impact on technology companies that hire skilled staff from all over the world on special H1-B visas.

There have been reports that “green card” holders, who are legal permanent residents of the US, being prevented from getting on flights. However, green cards are not specifically mentioned in the executive order, and so the status of green card holders remains unclear.

CAIR advised non-US citizens, including permanent residents, from the seven countries to plan to delay all international travel for at least 90 days.

Mr Trump said the measures detailed in his executive order would “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US”.

But rights groups say there is no link between Syrian refugees in the US and terrorism.

  • Key points of refugee and travel suspension
  • Trump border policy: World reacts
  • Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ order sows panic

Mr Trump signed the order on Friday, which was International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The president’s statement to mark that occasion, on the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, made no mention of Jews or anti-Semitism.


Threat to technology: Joe Lynam, BBC business correspondent

Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, 11 February 2015Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The sudden and severe immigration restrictions imposed on passport holders from seven Muslim countries could seriously demonstrate the law of unintended consequences. The president wants to restrict some Muslims but the effect could be to damage America’s most important and profitable sector: technology.

Google has recalled around 100 of its affected staff from overseas. Microsoft has warned its shareholders that curbs on immigration could have a material impact on its business.

The technology sector relies heavily on highly skilled and well-paid workers from overseas on H1-B visas. If there’s a risk, however small, that that brainpower could be restricted in some way or scare off others who may feel unwelcome, the big tech companies may have to rethink where they place their key staff in future.


The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee also advised nationals from the affected countries but living in the US not to travel abroad.

A petition organised by academics in the US opposed to the executive order includes the signatures of 11 Nobel laureates.

Some Republicans have welcomed Mr Trump’s announcement, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, who said it was “time to re-evaluate and strengthen the visa vetting process”.

The new policy is also affecting visits from relatives.

An Iraqi journalist living in the US, Mohammed al-Rawi, posted on Facebook, saying his father had been turned away from a Los Angeles-bound flight in Qatar.

Jamal Abdi from the National Iranian American Council told the investigative journalism organisation Pro Publica: “We are inundated with calls and questions of how this is going to affect people.”

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a lengthy note, saying he was “concerned” about the president’s executive orders, and noting that he, like many Americans, is the descendant of immigrants.

Four-month suspension

Under Mr Trump’s wide-ranging executive order, all refugee admissions have been suspended for four months.

The text of the order was released several hours after it was signed. Other measures include:

  • A ban on refugees from Syria until “significant changes” are made
  • A 90-day suspension on anyone arriving from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen, except certain visa categories such as diplomats
  • Priority for future refugee applications from those persecuted for their religion – but only if the person is part of a minority religion in their home country
  • A cap of 50,000 refugees in 2017 – less than half of the upper limit under Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama

The order also said all immigration programmes should include questions to “evaluate the applicant’s likelihood of becoming a positively contributing member of society.”

Syrian refugees in a camp in Greece, 25 December 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionSyrian refugees face an indefinite ban from the US

Other measures include a broad review of the information required from all countries to approve a visa; a review of visa schemes between nations to ensure they are “truly reciprocal” for US citizens; and the immediate suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Programme.

But the document says exceptions could be made on a case-by-case basis.

During the election campaign, Mr Trump suggested a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.

If you have any questions about the new vetting measures which President Trump has announced, send them to us and a BBC correspondent will answer the most popular.

[Source:-BBC]