Google accounts are loved by hackers all over the world. Gmail security becomes more important by the day.
Google is no longer a search engine, but it’s a hub of information and services. Most people have a Gmail account and that account is often connected with all of their other Google accounts.
This is a super convenient system for users! But unfortunately, it’s also convenient for hackers.
If your Gmail is hacked then all of your accounts are vulnerable.
There’s no way to make your online accounts completely impenetrable. But you can put up some really useful safeguards against new cyber hacking tactics.
Here are 10 tips for Gmail security that will help keep you safe.
Choose an Interesting Gmail Security Question
It seems like an obvious security option, but most people don’t put a lot of thought into their security question.
Most people choose really simple questions. Anyone who has any information about them could guess the answer quite easily.
Give it a little bit of thought and pick something that is unique to you. Make sure your question is something only you can answer.
One smart option is to make your question and answer in language that is not English. If you have enough mastery of a language other than English, then use that skill! Having a security question in a different language will really enhance your Gmail security.
You can review your security questions by going to your Settings>Accounts and Imports>Google Account Settings. From there you click on “change password recovery options.” You can verify your recovery email, phone number, and your security questions.
Backup Your Emails
A lot of people use Gmail as their only email service. For these people, Gmail security is of the utmost importance.
You may have sensitive information stored in your emails. Some hackers won’t just steal your files for their own use. They might delete and destroy the information so you don’t have access to it anymore.
If you can think of any emails that would be disastrous to lose then you need to backup your emails.
You can easily have all of your emails forwarded automatically from your Gmail account into a backup secondary email. That way there will always be two copies available.
You can also choose to download all of your emails through an outside program. This can be a time-consuming process, but some people like to have their emails stored somewhere other than an email service.
Be Smart With Your Password
Most people get somewhat lazy with their passwords.
A lot of people have really easy to guess passwords like “12345” or “password.” Having something generic as a password is not a good idea when it comes to Gmail security.
Try and think of something unique and personal for your password. Phrases that are meaningful to you are generally much more secure than a word or string of numbers.
Think about a favorite song or meaningful poem and use a phrase from it as your password. These types of passwords are much more difficult to guess.
Having a strong password can make a huge difference in whether or not you get hacked. Your password is your most basic and foundational defensive.
Think of your password as the front lines on a battlefield. You want a strong a tough front line so that the enemy can’t even come close to capturing your city (or precious private information.)
And don’t use the same password for every account. Have a unique password for your Gmail security. It will make it much harder from hackers to crack into your online accounts if you have different strong passwords.
Check Your IP Login Information
It’s smart to keep on eye on the activity of your account. If you make it a habit to check, then you’ll be able to catch an abnormality quickly.
At the bottom of your Gmail accounts page, there is a link that will show all of the “ALast Account Activity.”
You can scroll through the details of all the activity on your account. You can check when your account was accessed and you can check where it was accessed. The details will give you the IP address of where your account was accessed so you’ll know if that was you or not.
If you suddenly see IP addresses popping up from different countries then it’s time to take action.
If you get confused you can always ask for help. The Gmail security tech support is very responsive and will answer any of your questions quickly.
Always Use ‘https’
Always enabling ‘https’ will increase your Gmail security.
When you don’t use ‘https’ you are more vulnerable to hacking and cyber eavesdropping.
Using ‘https’ keeps people from spying on your login information and gaining easy access to your email contents from a Public Network.
You can turn on the ‘https’ feature by selecting Settings>General>5th Row and then selecting to “Always use https.”
It’s a simple step that can do wonders for your Gmail security.
Keep an Eye on Your Email Settings
Sometimes people aren’t even aware when they’ve been hacked. Not all hackers will delete all of your information or scramble your entire computer.
Some hackers will slip into your Gmail account undetected and do the most damage. Hackers can add their email address to the list of forwarding options in your email settings.
This means that every email that you receive will be forward to the hackers account. Hackers can gain loads of sensitive and secret information by subtly leaching all of your emails.
You can protect yourself from this form of attack by a simple adjustment in your settings. Go to Settings>Forwarding and POP/IMAP and select “Disable Forwarding.”
If you change your settings then hackers won’t be able to steal all of your emails without you noticing.
If you check your settings and find that someone has been forwarding all your emails to themselves, then you should check a few other settings as well.
- autoresponder message. Make sure this message says what you expect it to.
- filters for deleted or forwarded messages.
- ‘send mail as’ setting. Make sure that your correct email address is being used.
If you think you’ve been hacked it’s time to change your passwords and invest a little more time in your Gmail security.
Check All Attachments
Google has some pretty good built-in technology that automatically scans for viruses and malware. So you’re not entirely on your own to sort out your Gmail security.
But it’s still very good practice to be wary of opening attachments or clicking on links in emails. If you weren’t expecting to receive an email with an attachment and it seems out of place, then don’t open it.
One of the most basic ways that hackers will gain access to your information is through malware contained in an attachment.
If they can simply get you to open the attachment, then they’re inside. It’s like they’re slipping in the backdoor that you forgot to lock.
And once someone’s email has been compromised by opening one of these buggy attachments, the hacker will most likely forward the attachment onto the victim’s address book.
If you receive an odd email, ask the person who sent it if it was intentional before you open it. Simply checking in with them could save you a huge headache.
Also, check your own sent mail and be sure that you have been bombing your address book with spammy virus-filled emails. If you have, that’s a good indication that you’ve been hacked and your Gmail security is compromised.
Update Your Browser
Every time you update your browser you are updating your Gmail security as well.
The newest versions of browsers come with the latest security updates. These security updates are designed to incorporate all the latest information about new security threats.
If you’re using an old version of a browser then you are not getting the protection you need.
Hackers and viruses are continually adjusting as they try to worm their way into your accounts.
Check to make sure that you’re always using the most current version of your browser for the most effective protection.
Use Double Authentication
If you’re not already using two-step verification, then you should start. Having the step layer of verification will increase your Gmail security dramatically.
Sometimes this means regularly having to input a cell phone verification code. Other times you can use a USB that only you have access to.
Most people use the cell phone code option as their second form of identification. If a hacker wanted to access your account they would have to physically have your phone as well.
If you worry about your phone dying or not having data then using a USB as second verification might be the way to go. USBs are small and light, so it wouldn’t be a burden to carry it around.
You would only be able to access your email once the USB is plugged into the computer. All you have to do is register the USB has your second layer of security. It’s called a “Security Key.”
Some people might think it’s a hassle to carry around a USB for security, but anyone who’s been hacked will tell you it’s worth it. For just a little extra work you can save yourself the excruciating task of dealing with a Gmail security breach.
Check if You’ve Been Hacked and Report it
Google does it’s best to keep suspicious emails from landing in your inbox. But it’s bound to happen sometimes.
If you do receive an email that you find suspicious you could simply just delete it. But you could also report the email first.
But reporting the email you are able to help Google do a better job of keeping you safe.
Reporting an Email
To report an email, simply use the drop-down box on the right-hand side of the email and select “Report spam” or “Report phishing.”
You can also block that person from the drop-down box. If a certain email address is harassing you or flooding your inbox with spamming or dangerous emails then don’t hesitate to block them.
Reporting suspicious emails and blocking users who send them will help keep your Gmail secure from hackers and unwanted bugs.
Make sure to keep a sharp eye on your account so that if your Gmail security has been compromised you can take immediate action.
If you suspect you’ve been hacked you will need to change your passwords right away. You’ll then want to see if you can find out what the hacker took or had access to. If you have any bank information somehow stored in your email then you’ll need to contact your bank as soon as possible.
Your Gmail security is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Using Gmail is a comparatively secure email source and it certainly is a convenient one!
With so many resources like email, Drive, YouTube, Google Adsense, Buzz, Wave and much more, Google is likely to continue to be the leader in email services.
But that doesn’t mean you’re entirely immune to attack from hackers. The cyber world has become fraught with all kinds of threats. Elections are subject to cyber attacks from foreign nations, Fortune 500 companies employee records are in danger, and your personal emails could be at risk.
No one wants to fall victim to hacking. All you have to do is take a few simple steps your Gmail security will be as strong as it can be.