Securing your Google Account is important. Most of you already use Google in one way or another. Whether you use Gmail for emails, Android smart phone, Chrome for browsing the internet, then there is a lot of your private information saved in your Google account.
On top of it all, you probably use Google Drive for sharing and storing important documents and files, have your bank account e-statements delivered directly to your inbox and have tons of pictures stored in Google Photos. What if someone else gained access to your Google account? Have you ever wondered how all your personal information can be used for fraud, such as identity theft?
Well, you probably haven’t and wouldn’t want to either. The mere thought of it makes you wonder what you can do for securing your Google Account.
Well, lucky you, because here we are providing you with everything you can do to make your Google account safer and more secure.
Steps for Securing your Google Account
Regularly scan your computer for Viruses and Malware
It might sound to be a cliché, but regularly checking and scanning your computer for viruses and malware is crucial for securing your Google Account. Schedule a regular scan for your computer and ensure to remove any suspicious programs or applications that come up in the results. To read more about this, visit Google’s safety center.
Run an account security checkup
The next thing to add to securing your Google Account is to perform a ‘security checkup’. Google has made this quite easy, as you just need to go to your ‘My Account’ page and click Get Started in the section for Security Checkup.
You will be directed to a web form that asks you to review and confirm your information. Take your time and make any required changes.
Update your options for account recovery
You also need to make sure that your options for recovering your account are up to date. Make sure that you have a current and running email account as your recovery account. Once you go to the account recovery page, you will have the option for setting your recovery phone, email and security question. Make sure that all information is correct and up to date so that you don’t get locked out of your account.
Enroll in Google’s 2-step verification
Google’s 2-step verification adds an additional layer of security to your Google account. Opt for this extra protection to make your Google account more secure. Once you enter your password, Google will send you a code through text, call or the mobile app. Follow these steps to enable 2-step verification for your account:
- Go to the 2-step verification page and sign in if required.
- Click on Start Setup.
- Follow the outlined steps.
If you already have the 2-step verification enabled for your account, make sure from time to time that all your authentication information is correct.
Set up Trusted Devices
When you sign in to your Google account through the 2-step verification process, you will be asked whether you want to skip the 2-step verification for this device. You can check the box if it’s a trusted device, but always uncheck it if you are using your work or any other public computer.
Additionally, you can also add more devices for which you don’t want the 2-step verification process. For any other untrusted devices, the second verification step will be required.
Just make sure that you have cookies enabled in your browser and that your cookies are not deleted. Otherwise you will still have to enter the code even after checking the ‘Don’t ask again on this computer’ box.
If you want to remove any trusted devices:
- Go to your My Account page, and click the Sign-in and Security option.
- Then select signing in to Google and choose 2-step verification.
- Select Require Codes from the Registered Computers tab and click Remove this computer from my trusted list.
For more information, check this page here.
Set up Backup Options
To make sure that you still have a way to access your account in case you lose your phone or any other mishap, choose at least one of the backup options provided by Google.
You can get a Google prompt on your phone and just tap Yes to sign in.
The app is available both for Android and iPhone. You can use the Authenticator app to get verification codes even if your phone is offline.
If you lose your phone, you can use your backup phone to sign in.
A small physical device, the security key can be plugged into your computer’s USB port to sign in.
You can generate backup codes and save them for use later. You can use the backup codes in place of the verification codes in case you don’t have access to your phone.
Monitor your Activity and Logs
Google also provides you with a complete log of your security events. Visit the Sign-in & Security panel from your My Account page and review your security events, device activity and notifications.
Check your Recently used devices section to make sure that there is no suspicious activity.
You can also view your security alerts settings so that Google can contact you if it encounters anything suspicious or of any security changes. Click Manage Settings to change your current settings.
Also maintain regular checks on the apps and websites that your account is connected to and remove any applications that you don’t use any longer. Click Manage Apps to change your current settings.
If you use any public computers, make sure that you always log out of your account and clear your cache and cookies regularly. If you notice any suspicious activity, check your security settings more frequently and change your password if required. It’s best if you don’t use your Google account password on any other websites and don’t write it down. Choose a strong password to reinforce your account security.
So, it wasn’t so difficult securing your Google account, was it?
Just make sure that you utilize all the above security options provided by Google to protect your privacy, as well as personal information from unauthorized access.
For more information on Gmail and other mail providers visit http://emailhelpr.com/gmail-login or http://emailhelpr.com/gmail-sign