Gmail is one of the most popular email solutions in the world, and because it has millions of users, it’s a hotspot for hackers who are phishing for personal information. Google takes extra precautions to help keep its users’ accounts safe, and at times, may lock users out of their accounts.
Although it’s for security purposes, not having access to your email can be frustrating for users – especially if they’re unsure why their account has been locked out. Here are some tips on how to avoid getting locked out of your Gmail login.
Understand Why Gmail Locked You Out
Google may disable access to your Gmail account temporarily if they detect abnormal usage. It can take anywhere from one minute to one day to one week to regain access to your account. Google considers the following actions to be abnormal:
- Sending an unusually large number of undeliverable messages, or messages that bounce back.
- Downloading, receiving or deleting a high volume of email via IMAP or POP in a short amount of time. In this case, you may see the error message “Lockdown in Sector 4” and will be locked out of your Gmail account for 24 hours.
- Opening multiple instances of Gmail.
- Using file-storage, file-sharing or a third party software program that automatically logs you into your Gmail account.
- If your browser is continually reloading while trying to access your inbox, your account may be disabled temporarily. This is typically a browser issue, and clearing out your browser’s cookies and cache should fix the problem.
- Logging into your Gmail account from a suspicious location.
Enable 2-Step Verification
Enabling 2-step verification is a great way to avoid getting locked out of Gmail while you’re traveling. When this is enabled, a code will be sent to your mobile device, which will allow you to access your email – even if you are in a “suspicious” location.
If you decide to enable this added security measure, be sure to configure Google’s Authenticator app if you will be roaming. While you’re at it, print out back-up codes just in case you are unable to use your cell phone while you’re away.
Use Google’s Authenticator App
If you have 2-step authentication enabled, you may get locked out of your account if you don’t have your cell phone or are in a location with no reception. In this case, Google’s Authenticator App can help you quickly and easily gain access to your account.
What the app does is generate codes on your phone that you can use to access your account. You can generate codes even when your phone is in airplane mode, or you can’t get a signal.
Printed Back Up Codes
While the Authenticator App can help you gain access to your account if you don’t have a signal, it won’t do you any good if you can’t find your phone. Google has a solution for that, too. Preapproved codes are available that can be printed out and used for when you lose access to your phone.
The only catch here is that you need to print the codes out in advance (or download them). So, if you’re planning on traveling, be sure to download these codes before you leave. This way, you will always have access to your Gmail account.
Never Stay Logged In On a Public Computer
If you’re using a computer in a café, the office or the library, make sure that you sign out of your account before you leave. Remember, Google may block access to your email if you’re logged from too many locations at once. Staying signed into your account on a public computer is bad practice to begin with as anyone can view your account and any personal information that may be stored in it.
*Featured Image – Credit Youtube/Google