Simple Steps to Secure Your Gmail Account
- 2020-01-20 13:10
Among all online accounts, Google might hold a staggering amount of your critical information. Consider that: you prefer Gmail as a more intuitive and efficient app for email, Chrome as a fast and free web browser, and Android with better hardware and software integration. It’s like Google is doing almost everything for you.
As you are pondering over, Google saves and stores much of your stuff. Now think how secure is your Google account? What can happen if someone gets access to your account and gets hold of your bank statements and Netflix account in Gmail, important docs in Drive, has a glance at your life through stored images in Google Photos, monitors your chat logs from Hangouts, and whatnots? The security of all these depends on how well you safeguard your account. Let’s talk about it.
Tips to Protect Your Gmail Account
In this article, we will guide you on how to guard your Gmail account against falling in the wrong hands.
The key to your secure account are strong passwords, but many users find it challenging to create strong passwords they can actually remember. Using a single strong password for multiple accounts, from banking to social media, is something we don’t recommend. On the other hand, weak passwords do have serious consequences if your Gmail account is compromised. There has been a sharp increase in incidents of data breaches where hackers publish critical information, such as home addresses, login credentials, and bank account details on the dark web. Anybody can use this information to steal your identity or crack into your account.
You can avoid the hassle of creating and remembering all capitalized letters, numbers and special characters by using a good password manager like LastPass or Dashlane. These apps pack loads of great features such as password generator, two-factor authentication and many more to help you create numerous passwords for multiple accounts in just a few clicks. The intuitive and simple managers will securely store all passwords, and many even offer the feature to share your encrypted password with emergency contacts. A tiny caveat is that you will need to remember the key of your password manager.
You can also make use of Firefox or Chrome browsers instead of a dedicated app to store your passwords. However, many security experts have raised the concern that these passwords can be easily viewed on modern web browsers. For instance, Chrome won’t ask for a user password to access saved logins on Linux. Similarly, Firefox would give access to your saved password with authenticating (unless you set up a master password) on any platform.
Manage Your Google Account Settings
You can also change your password by logging in to your Gmail account, clicking on your profile picture on the right side of the screen, and then selecting the option of Manage Your Google Account. Simply select the Privacy and Personalization options, which help you choose what Gmail activity should be saved to enhance your Google experience.
Select the Security tab, and you would be presented with the password option. You will be required to log in again to confirm your identity. After that, you are allowed to create a new password. You will be signed out of all devices requiring you to enter the new password to sign back in. We highly recommend enabling the two-step verification option in the Security tab. Simply select the option, click on the Get Started button and follow the online instructions.
Set up Recovery Email and Phone Number
You may create a new email and foolishly close the tab without copying it or remembering the credentials. Follow these tips to recover your Gmail account. We advise setting up a recovery email and password to avoid being locked out of your account. Simply follow these steps:
- Go to myaccount.google.com/security;
- Go to the option Ways that we can verify that it’s you;
- You will see two options: Recovery phone and Recovery email;
- Select Recovery phone;
- You will be asked to sign in again;
- Add or update your phone number;
- Now, select the recovery email option after setting up the phone number.
There are two methods to recover your Gmail password:
Method 1: Gmail website
1. Visit https://mail.google.com;
2. Type in the labelled fields, then click next;
3. Select Forgot Password option;
4. You will be asked to enter the last password you can recall, then click Next;
5. If you don’t remember your last passwords, you can select Try a different question option and try answering the requests you come across;
6. After that, follow the on-screen directions. You will be asked either to
- Confirm a text sent to your recovery phone number, or;
- Confirm the recovery email account you’ve set up;
- Confirm a message sent to the email linked to your Gmail account;
7. Enter another email address you can check instantly;
8. Open the applicable option and enter the verification code in the on-screen field;
9. Now enter and confirm the new password;
10. Finally, click on Change password and then continue option.
Method 2: Gmail App
You can perform similar steps from your Gmail App. Simply tap Add Account and select Google. Then enter the email or phone number linked with your Gmail account. Follow the same steps- from Forgot password to on-screen instructions to recover your Google account.
Manage Your Account Permissions
Many apps require you to sign-in with your Gmail account, and you might have forgotten about them. To allow or deny access to apps you are not using anymore, follow these steps:
- Visit myaccount.google.com/security;
- Click Manage third-party access;
- Select the app you want to deny access to;
- Tap the blue Remove Access button;
- Repeat for all unwanted apps.
Boom, You’re Done
Your Gmail account is much safer now. We also recommend checking the rest of the security page to manage your connected apps, devices activity and notification settings. We hope that this article also clears up the myth that protecting your Google account is hard or time-consuming. Help others by sharing this article as this is what anybody with a Gmail account must do.