A top priority right after registration is to secure Gmail account. Even those who have old gmail should make sure that proper security measures are in place. Most people don’t realize how vulnerable their Gmail Account is to cyber criminals.
Gmail is the most invaluable asset of anyone’s identity on the web. You use Gmail everyday and have all the important information stored in your inbox. All your social networking accounts, website registrations, Paypal accounts, etc. are connected and controlled by your Gmail and thus it makes sense to completely secure Gmail account and prevent unauthorized access.
Actually, gaining access to your Gmail also means gaining access to most of your personal information. And hackers know this so well. Choosing a strong password is not enough, you should be well aware how people try to gain access to other people’s email accounts by unfair means.
How to secure Gmail account?
If your Gmail got hacked, it would be a nightmare. Here are some useful tips to secure Gmail account and avoid getting hacked:
1. Don’t Reuse Passwords
This is the most important rule. Yes, we know you live in a world where we have to remember millions of passwords. So using the same password over and over again is easier. Actually, it’s also easier for hackers. If you use only one, they can guess your password once and know your password forever and everywhere. If you don’t want to write every password down, you can use password manager to store them digitally. You still need to make sure your passwords are strong, and you still need to change them every once in a while.
2. Set up & Turn on 2-Step Verification
Google has added 2-step verification system to ensure your Gmail security to be strong. In this process; you’ll get OTP (one-time password) on your registered mobile number to log in your account.
In order to enable this feature:
Sign in Gmail >> go to your profile >> select the option “My Account” >> choose “Sign-in & Security” >> go to “Password & Sign-in Methods” below password setting you’ll see the 2-step verification option >> turn it on. Now you’ll enter the setup. Then you first, enter your mobile number. Second, write the OTP that you’ve received on your mobile and verify it. Third, if you are turning on 2-step verification from a personal computer or trusted device, check the “trust this device” box. You will only be requested to enter a verifying code when you signed to this account once per 30 days. Finally, confirm the setup.
Note: Make a backup of the phone number and printable backup codes as the options to access your account in case if you lose your phone. This makes your account impenetrable.
3. Do not Click on Suspicious Links
There are some websites which let’s anyone send fake emails to any email address. And the worst part is that the sender can customize the “From” address to anything like: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider that a person sends an email to you asking you to change your Gmail password due to security reasons. You see the address field as something like “email@example.com” and you think that it’s from Gmail. No, it’s not.
When you receive any emails which asks you to change your account password or enter login credentials, STOP. Do not ever click on any suspicious links from your inbox. So please think before you click.
4. Delete Any Emails that Include Passwords
This is another way for you to secure Gmail account. Especially if you’ve been using the same passwords for a while. To find them, go to your Gmail account and use the search box to search for any reference you may have made to “password” or “registration.” Delete any registration messages you’ve been sent containing your password.
5. Google Security Checkup & Keep System Updated
you go through the Google checkup once a month. This will help you to recognize unauthorized activities on your Gmail.
For doing this you should follow: Sign in >> my account >> Security Checkup.
6. Avoid checking Emails at Public Places
You never know which programs are installed in a public computer. So never check emails at a local cafe or at public places or in any computer where you don’t have control.
A Keylogger is a computer program which can be used to record what you are typing in the keyboard. The Keylogger records your keystrokes, saves them in a simple text file and sends it to an email address or to an FTP server. And you are completely unaware of the whole process, running in the background.
7. Limit the Apps That Have Access to Your Personal Information.
Each time you sign up for an app that requires Google account authorization, you’re providing that app with access to your information. Even if you don’t use the app anymore, the information is still available to them. To see all of the apps that are connected to your Google account, go to https://accounts.google.com/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens.
This page displays the apps you’ve authorized and what information they’re allowed to see. Limit access to all of the apps that you no longer use and any suspicious apps that are on the list. In the future, be aware of the apps that make you sign up using your Google account information.
8. Good and Secure Habits.
There are simple things which you can do every time in order to secure Gmail account:
1. Clear browsing history every time.
2. Log out every time.
3. Most important thing is that never give your password to anyone.
9. Always Check the URL before Logging in to Gmail
Whenever you log in to your Gmail account, always check the URL from the browser address bar. This is because there are plenty of dirty minds who create an exact replica of the Gmail login page. Moreover, they install some scripts or malicious codes behind the fake login page and host the page in their web server. When you login to Gmail from a fake login page, your username as well as password is sent to another email address or to an FTP location.
Therefore, always check that you are logging in to Gmail by typing www.gmail.com and not from any other URL.
10. Keep Your Computer’s Antivirus Software Up to Date
Password security won’t help you if someone has compromised your desktop with a key logger.
11. Phishing: Avoid and Report Google Scams
This is a most important point to secure Gmail account. Never click any link in the email which requests you for information regarding the bank, credit card details or any other personal, financial information. Whenever you find such fraudulent mail, report immediately to Google.
Go through this guideline: Sign in >> open such mail >> click down arrow next to reply >> Report Phishing. null
12. Make sure your secondary email address in Gmail is still valid and owned by you
Google uses your secondary email address to reach you in case your primary address is compromised, or you’ve forgotten your password. To check this: Go to Gmail.com >> Settings >> Accounts and Import >> Change password recovery options. Look at the entry for “Recovery email” and verify that it’s correct.
These are straightforward and quick tips by which you can secure your Gmail account.
Gmail has gained importance in the last few years. Keeping it safe should be one of your top priorities. Avoid clicking on unrecognized links in your emails. Moreover, be careful in downloading attachments. Only trust on emails which is sent by known and familiar sources. Delete anything that looks unfamiliar or suspicious. Be very cautious of the emails about promos, deals, and click bait.