Gmail Security: 17 Steps to Secure Your Gmail Account

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We have several reasons to use Gmail as the main communication method. It’s fast, easy to use and far than any other mail service.

Gmail is not just a mailing service for us. We store several things in our mail account- Personal info, Bank details, Business connections, Media files, Website backup, etc and treating it like cloud storage. Google does everything to protect such contents from prying eyes. But it’s not enough.

Gmail Security Tips to Protect Your Gmail Account

Google’s such safety precautions won’t work without your co-operation. Today we’ll share the most important Gmail Security tips that you should follow to secure your email from the cybercriminals.

1. Check for Viruses and Malware

Start from your computer. Check if someone installed any malware on your system to collect data including passwords. Such prying agents may come from the programs you downloaded from unrecognized sources or pirated ones. Run an antivirus scan periodically and remove suspicious programs, trojans- found if any.

2. Turn on 2 Step Authentication

Use additional security to protect your account. Activate 2 step verification from Google settings page. You should give a working mobile number to make use of this feature. After submitting login credentials, Google will send a PIN number to your mobile to verify your identity. No one can login to your account without giving this second password in the prompt screen.

If you have Google account connected Android phone, will get a prompt screen there to approve login from the computer. Click OK to verify.

Don’t have a phone with you? Copy the backup codes, showing in the authentication page and save it to some safe place. It can be utilized to login in emergency situations.

You can add frequently using devices to trusted lists to avoid the second password. Remove any device from the list which is you are no longer using.

3. Verify your Account Recovery Information

Check whether your account recovery information is up to date. Go to My Account page, from there click on Get Started under “Security Check-up”. Update your recovery information with your primary phone number, any other mail in use and security question.

4. Add a Delegate

Add a secondary email to your account as a delegate. A delegate can send, read, delete emails and acts on behalf of your Gmail account. It can change your Gmail password or update account settings as well. Activate this option from Settings > General > Grant access to your account.

5. Check Account Permissions

Review the apps, websites connected to your Google account. Remove any unwanted or non trusted app from the list.

6. Review Your Recent Activity

Review your recent Google activity and check if any suspicious item found. Manage various activity controls including location history, YouTube search history, device information, Voice & Audio activity, and YouTube watch history.

7. Lock Connected Devices

We won’t keep our home door opened when nobody there, is it? Similarly, lock your Google connected devices as long as you are not using it. Otherwise, anyone can access your files and account details.

8. Review Recent Security Events

Check Gmail security alerts and related notifications of your account in the last 28 days. Such notifications include change of password, adding recovery options, etc. Create text message alerts to inform you if someone changes your password or on hacking attempts.

9. Use a Strong Password

Use a strong alphanumeric password for your Gmail. It should not contain your personal data like name, date of birth, mobile number, vehicle number, etc and never use it in any other site. The password should be changed at frequent intervals or at least in three months.

10. Never Deal with Spammers

A couple of months back, I got a mail from some unknown source. The mail format was similar to official Google mails and it informed me that someone tried to login into my account. In a sudden moment, anyone may treat it as Google’s security alert.

I was asked to verify my account by clicking on the following link, which directed me to the ‘login screen’ of Gmail. But the URL was different. It was a fake website created by the criminals to steal login credentials of Gmail users. While signing in to any website, make sure that the address bar displays your correct URL and it’s not a phishing site that pretends like the original.

In the same way, you will get emails with the notifications of lottery draws, fund transfer, etc. Google will divert such emails to your spam folder automatically. Never respond to such messages or share your personal data with them. You can inform Google about suspicious emails by clicking on the spam button.

Read How to get Read Receipts on Gmail

11. Never Share Your Password

Don’t share your password with others even though how much closer they are. Probably they may copy your backup codes or security question and can be used to access your account at a later time.

12. Use Trusted Connections

It’s better to avoid free WiFi zones to log in to your Gmail account. They may not be enough secure to prevent hackers and there is a chance to steal your information by intruders.

13. Avoid Proxies

There’re hundreds of proxy servers on the web to help you in browsing. Avoid them for safety.

14. Update OS and Browser regularly

Always update your operating system and browser to the latest version. This will help you to prevent any security breaches on the web or system.

15. Use Private Mode

Use the private or incognito mode of modern browsers when browsing from shared computers. It won’t save your data and will clear everything including browsing history, cookies as soon as you exit the browser.

If using normal mode, don’t save your password on public computers and finally, spend time to delete your all activities from the system.

16. Equip with Security Extensions

Web of Trust(WOT), HTTPS Everywhere, NoScript, Secure Mail, Secure Browsing and Disconnect are some popular browser extensions for secure browsing.

LogDog is an excellent security solution if you are browsing on mobile.

17. Final Step

We took all sufficient precautions to secure our Google account. Still then, we shouldn’t gamble with our precious online identity.

Feel free to take a backup of your Gmail account. It is essential to regain your account access if something unexpected happened in the future.

Read Top 10 Best Security Apps to Protect Your Computer from Prying Eyes

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