Google announced two new tools in the coming months designed to help users protect their online privacy.
The search giant said it was also rolling out a new security feature to its social network that would allow users to protect their accounts and other personal information online.
The new tools are designed to keep users safe by preventing “people from abusing the platform to access their personal information, or from misusing the platform in a malicious manner”.
The privacy tools will let users opt out of sharing their data, block ads and even stop websites from sending their data to the internet.
But the tools are aimed at users who are trying to keep tabs on what their friends and colleagues are doing online, and how their privacy is being used.
“We’ve seen the rise of social media platforms in recent years and the way they’ve expanded their offerings has created a lot of new opportunities for privacy breaches,” said Justin Wood, senior vice president at Facebook.
“Our goal is to make sure that our users are always protected, so we’ve taken these privacy tools to ensure they are effective.”
“When people do abuse the platform, they can’t just click on the ‘privacy warning’ button and say, ‘I’m not going to do that’,” said Mr Wood.
“We need to keep people safe from being exploited by people with a bad intent.”
Google’s two new privacy tools are known as Privacy Shield and PGP2.1.
Privacy Shield is designed to make it easier for people to protect personal data online by using a unique combination of a username and password that is stored securely on their phone.
Users who sign up for Privacy Shield can choose a different password to protect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers and medical records.
The company also offers a new “PGP2” version, which offers a single-step, password-protected authentication method that lets users log in and access data using the same credentials.
Users will also be able to use a third-party service like Facebook’s Encrypted Accounts, which encrypts messages and passwords sent between the two parties.
Users can also opt out if they want to use the new Privacy Shield tools for their own privacy.
Privacy Shield also allows users to set up a one-time password that has the same combination of two random characters, as well as a PIN to prevent anyone from guessing their password.
Privacy 2.1 adds a new setting for a one time password that will protect data for up to five years, and the ability to set an expiration date for a password.
Users with the new version of Privacy Shield will be able opt out and block new users from using the new tools.
But users can also turn off Privacy Shield in the new settings.
Other privacy tools include PGP Authenticator, which will allow users sign up to Facebook’s “secure login” program to use their credentials to authenticate to the service.
Privacy Authenticator will allow a user to create a unique password that only the account holder can use.
“People can use this to lock down the account that they are using, for example to block access to a website,” said Mr Woods.
PGP Authenticators are not available for mobile devices, but Google said it is working with Facebook and Apple on adding the feature to those platforms.
Google has also rolled out a privacy-aware browser extension called Chrome Browser that will give users the ability for the web browser to flag potentially harmful sites.
“We know that many of our users’ privacy settings are often not well thought through,” Mr Wood said.
“That’s why we’re releasing these tools today to give people the tools they need to better protect their privacy online.”
Google is also rolling its own security features to its mobile apps.
The browser extension will also prevent Google from tracking users’ browsing history, and will warn them when their device is in sleep mode, which means that it is not in use.
Users also have the ability of blocking a website or app by using its “block app” feature.
The company’s new Privacy Guard will also allow users “to block sites that are tracking them through cookies, and block websites that share your data or personal information with third parties”, according to Google.
Privacy Guard will block websites from collecting information about users or displaying ads if they are browsing or accessing a site from a third party.
“Privacy Guard helps you protect your privacy and is a powerful privacy-enhancing tool,” said Google.
Google said its new privacy-conscious browser extension is also being rolled out to Chrome users.
Privacy guard will allow Chrome users to disable Google’s tracking technologies and to block sites and apps that use data collection or tracking.
The Chrome extension will not block ads from the website.