How to Protect Your Gmail Account

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Gmail is an extremely popular webmail platform. Because it is so popular, it is often targeted by hackers and criminals looking to steal personal and financial information. If you are a Gmail user, you definitely want to do everything you can to protect your account. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help keep those hackers and criminals at bay.

 

Password Strength

When choosing your password for Gmail, definitely don’t choose an easy-to-remember word or a pattern of numbers/characters.  For that matter, choose a strong password for all of your logins.  Yes, the stronger your password the harder it will be to remember.  That’s the price we pay to protect our logins and personal information.

One tip for creating your password: Choose an easy to remember sentence or phrase and use only the first letters of each word.  You can should also include numbers and special characters.

Remember, the more simple your password the easier it is for someone to hack it.  If that happens, it won’t be long before you’re fighting with credit agencies and your bank to recover your identity and finances.  Don’t take the easy route – use a complicated password!

 

2-Step Verification

You should also take advantage of Google’s 2-Step verification process.  By enabling 2-step verification in Gmail’s settings, you add another layer of pro2step verificationtection when someone tries to log into your account from an unrecognized computer.  In other words, if anyone, including you, tries to log into your Gmail from a computer other than the ones you normally use, the 2-step verification will kick in.

When you activate 2-step verification you will submit a cell phone number.  If the 2-step verification is triggered, a code will be sent to this cell phone number.  Before you, or anyone else, can log into the Gmail account, they will need to enter the code.

If you haven’t activated 2-step verification, go into your settings right now and do it.  It’s simple, fast, and a great added layer of protection.

 

Check “Granted Access” Settings

Another setting you want to check is the “Granted Access” section of Gmail.  With this setting, you can allow others to use your Gmail on your behalf.  This may be something you use already if Gmail is your work email application.  Either way, check this and make sure no accounts were granted access without you knowing about it.

Another tip, when you check this setting you should enable “Mark conversation as read when opened by others”.  With this enabled, you’ll see right away if someone else is reading your mail because the conversation will be marked “read”.  If you didn’t read it, it’s time to change your password and follow the advice in this article!

 

Unauthorized Access

One fairly unknown setting within Gmail is “Account Permissions”.  This is a great setting to check and look for suspicious activity.

To check this setting, go to Settings – Accounts and Import – Other Google Account Settings – Connected Apps and Services – Account Permissions.  Once you get there, if you see anything suspicious, immediately revoke its permissions to your Gmail.

If you use other applications that have access to your Gmail or Google account, such as Facebook or Twitter, this is an important setting to check from time to time.

 

Protect Your Gmail – And Yourself – Before It’s Too Late

There you have it.  A few simple, but important, steps you can take to increase the security of your Gmail.

Gmail, and other Google apps, are increasing in popularity and use every day.  This increase in popularity and use will only serve to also increase the appetite of criminals.  Don’t become a victim of identity theft or find out the hard way all your credit cards are maxed out.

Choose a strong password, implement 2-step verification, and check the other settings of Gmail to make sure nothing nefarious is going on.  You’ll be glad you did!

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