A number of major webmail services have suffered one of the largest security breaches in recent years. The account details of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and Mail.ru are just four of the services affected. Security firm Hold Security says that it has been contacted by a hacker in possession of 272 million unique pairs of email addresses and unencrypted passwords. This is far from an insignificant number, and the situation is made all the worse as the data is being freely shared for just about anyone to access.
This is the time that you ask yourself (Without lying), how secure your Gmail account is? If you don’t have a convincing answer to this question, follow the following Gmail security tips to check and Tighten Up Your Gmail Security.
Google, the name which is often associated with user-friendliness and security. Despite what the company does to keep your emails safe, you may still be preyed on by hackers, phishers, and scammers from all over the Web.
Well, the good news is that Google has been forging its Gmail security system by adding new security features, most of which common Gmail users do not know about. Today we want to show you some of the most essential, technical and non-technical tips that will further strengthen your account security from any possible threat and scheme.
While some of them might sound complicated at first, their instructions are extremely easy and they can be completed without any further study, so embrace them and you will prevent one of the worst nightmares of your life – Compromising your Gmail account.
Top 5 Gmail Security Tips
1. Enable 2-Step Authentication:
Two-step authentication is the most prevalent way to secure your accounts: It asks you to authenticate that you are who you say you are by supplying not only your password but a unique code supplied from your phone or an external app. It ensures that those accessing your accounts have access to your physical devices as well as your virtual passwords, and makes a simple password crack or social engineering hack a lot more insufficient in actually accessing your personal data.
How to set up your Google account with two-step authentication:
1. Visit Google’s 2-Step Verification Setup page and click on Get Started.
2. Enter your Google email and password (or just your password, if you’re already logged into Google).
3. Choose your country and put your phone number. You can choose how you want to receive the code sent by Google. Either by a text message or a phone call. Then click on TRY IT.
4. Verify your phone number by entering the six-digit code Google sent you. And click on Next.
5. If the code is right, you will get a final message asking you to turn on 2-step authentication. Click on TURN ON to turn it on. That’s it. 2-step authentication is now enabled for your Gmail account.
Note: With this 2-step verification, you can even create a backup phone number and printable backup codes as alternatives to access your account if you lose your phone. For applications that cannot request for the verification code, you can also create an application-specific password for them. So basically your account will be impenetrable unless your closed ones betray you.
It might feel a bit annoying the first few times, but it beats getting your account hacked and then getting blackmailed to regain access to your own email account, doesn’t it?
2. Check Granted Account Access:
The first thing you must check to see if you have suspicious activities happening in your Gmail account is probably your granted account access settings. I guess if a hacker had a chance to infiltrate into your account, he will probably add his own created fake mail account into your Gmail for easier future access, or for a re-hacking session if his other tricks were exposed and removed.
Well, how can he do it? It’s really easy, he just has to hack into your Gmail account, click on the gear-like icon, select the Settings > Accounts and Import >Grant access to your account, then add any fake email account into it. Now that you know the route, it’s your turn to perform the steps mentioned above, except that instead of adding the account, you have to check if there’s any account you didn’t authorize access to your Gmail.
Also, be sure that the option, “Mark conversation as read when opened by others” is checked, so whenever someone is reading your emails without authorization, you will know about it. Keep your eyes peel for this option.
Know how this mail delegation with this short video by Google.
3. Revoke Unauthorized Access:
Many Gmail users wouldn’t notice this security hole easily, as the option comes from your Google Account, not your Gmail account. And heck, it’s really easy to check if you’ve granted too much trust in them: log into your Google Account, then access this page, and you will see a list of sites and/or web applications that you’ve granted access to.
Click “Revoke Access” if you find any doubtful applications, and it’s a good practice to revoke access to any application that is unnecessary anymore, even if they are not harmful.
4. Track Last Account Activity:
Last account activity shows you information about recent activity in your mail. Recent activity includes any time that your mail was accessed using a regular web browser, a POP client, a mobile device, a third-party application, etc. Google lists the IP address that accessed your mail, the associated location, as well as the time and date.
To see your account activity, click the Details link next to the Last account activity line at the bottom of any Gmail page. Or you can access the page HERE.
Under the panel, you can also set the Alert preference so Gmail could alert you when it detects certain unusual activities. Be sure to always check the Activity Information panel any time you notice any weird stuff happening in your Gmail. You can get more information about it HERE.
5. Create a Strong Password:
Unless you’ve enabled 2-step verification, your password is the only entity that guards all your emails, contacts, and sensitive information. In order to make your Gmail account more invulnerable to the hacker, you need to create an invulnerable password.
Avoid easy passwords like “iloveyou” or “password” or “abcdefg“, all of these can be easily hacked. That said, you shouldn’t create 3 kinds of password, which are listed as below:
1. The password which consists of words that can be found in dictionaries.
2. Password which consists of words only or numbers only.
3. The password which consists of your name or any personal information existed on the web.
After you’ve set up your password, you can test your password’s strength directly through The Password Meter, and also possibly obtain some valuable tips from the site.
There is one more truth that you might find disturbing: if a professional hacker really wants to hack into your account and your computer or your browser is not completely secure, there’s basically no way for you to prevent the attack. However, you can follow these articles to ensure that your computer, as well as your browser, is completely secure.
Or you can take advantage of our limited time FREE offer and get help from our computer and internet security experts by scheduling a 15 Mins telephone appointment. In which, our certified security experts will call you to your given phone number and help you to scan your machine for any harmful file/program and help you to secure your data and your identity.
Source: hongkiat, Gmail, Google