Gmail is currently the most popular email service, with over a billion users active on a monthly basis. One of the reasons that gmail is so popular is because Google is well known for making products that are user friendly and secure. While Google does do a lot to keep your emails safe, there is still a chance that your account may be preyed upon by phishers, scammers, and hackers from all over the web. Here are 5 Tips for Securing your Gmail Account.
Google has forged its gmail security system and is constantly adding new security features, but even with the company’s diligence it is still important to do some small things on your end to help ensure that your account remains secure.
There are several simple steps that you can take to help prevent the worst nightmare of your life, your gmail account being hacked and used by someone other than yourself. Here are a few tips for keeping your gmail account safer.
5 Tips for Securing your Gmail Account
- Passwords are Important
Far too many people make the mistake of thinking that they do not need to have a strong password in place for their gmail account. Think about the password that you are currently using. Is it as secure as it could be? Do you use the same password for all of your accounts?
A good rule of thumb to follow when creating a password is that the longer the password is, the better. A quality password will contain a series of letters, numbers, as well as symbols. If it is easier for you choose a phrase that only you would know and then modify it by using some numbers as well as symbols in place of the letters. For example, you can change the i’s in words to 1’s and the o’s to 0s quite easily.
In addition, make sure that you use different passwords for your different accounts. If a hacker gains access to your gmail account it is going to be even worse if that gives them access to your cloud account, bank account, and everything else.
Changing your password is quite easy, simply long into your gmail account and then click on the options tab and then on the settings tab. Next click on accounts and then import. You will then see the option to change your password.
- Use the 2-Step Verification
Google has introduced a security feature in order to help fight the number of growing account theft issues that are being seen. This feature is a 2 step verification process. This process adds a layer of security to your account by requiring a code be sent to your phone each time account access is requested. This makes it impossible for someone to hack into your account without having access to your phone.
In addition to needing your username and password to access your account you will need the code that is sent by text message. You will be prompted to enter this code before being granted access to your account.
To set up the 2 step verification process you will need to log into your Google account and then go to the accounts settings page and then clicking on the 2 step verification link. You will need to begin the setup process which will involve entering in a backup phone number in case you lose access to your primary phone number.
- Keep your Account Options up to Date
The recovery options from gmail are designed to help keep your account secure from hackers as well as to help you access your account should you forget your password. The easiest and most secure way to help protect your account is by using your smartphone. Your smartphone is often better than using your recovery email address because you most likely have your phone with you all the time. According to Google using your mobile phone will not put it on a list for telemarketers or spammers.
In order to make sure that your account recovery options are up to date you will need to go to your google account and sign in. you will then click on update recovery options, which is located under the password and recovery option tab. You can then add or edit each of your security options for your mobile phone and your email.
- Enable HTTPS Security
One of the main reasons that people use web hosted email accounts such as gmail is because of its convenience. You can log into your gmail account from anywhere, which is quite nice. However, if you are on on public wi-fi or another non-encrypted network you are adding some risk when you log into your account. If possible, use your mobile data to access your accounts as this is a much safer option.
If you do not have data to use, make sure that you have enabled HTTPS from your gmail. This should be set by default, but it is worth checking to make sure that you account is protected from any attackers who may try to hijack your account.
To make sure that HTTPS is enabled for your account you will need to log in and the click on the options tab. Next select general, then browser connection, and then look to see if the option always use HTTPS is selected. Make sure that you click on save changes before exiting.
- Be Smart
You need to be smart about using your email account. Do not reply to suspicious emails or web pages that ask you for personal information or any financial information. Remember, your bank, credit card company, or internet service provider will not need you to confirm your identity. These emails may look legitimate, but it is likely a scam and will put your information at risk. If you are in doubt about an email, always make a phone call directly to the company in question. You should always report any suspicious emails that you receive.
Featured Image – Credit Julia Tim