Google and its counterparts control most of our browsing and storing actions in today’s times. We use Gmail for email, Google Drive and Photos for storage, Chrome for web browsing, and Android for mobile OS. This way, we are using Google for most of our smartphone activities.
Thus, keeping Gmail and Google Accounts safe from harmful activity becomes very important. This is because if someone gains access to your Google account, he could get access to your personal photos and videos, chats, personal documents, bank statements, and more. Here we will take you through the ways you can keep your Google Account safe.
6 Tips and Tricks to Secure your Gmail and keep Google Account safe
1. Do a Security Checkup of your Google account
Google account has an option called “Security Checkup” on the account’s “Sign-in and security” page.
Click on the “Security Checkup” option and you will be taken to a multi-section form that will ask you to review and confirm some basic information to keep the account safe. Although the process doesn’t take much time, it is better to go through it patiently so that you don’t leave loose ends.
2. Add or update Recovery Phone and Email
Setting up a recovery phone number and email id can be very helpful. If you get locked out of your account, then these alternate email and phone numbers can help you sign in. Recovery Email id also makes sure you are informed whenever your primary account is logged in from a new location or device. If a recovery email and recover phone number are already mentioned here make sure you have access to that phone or email id else you better replace them with any accessible id and phone number.
3. Assess Recent Security Events
After confirming the Recovery email id and phone number, click on ‘Done’. You will not be taken to a Recent Security Events menu. If you have recently made any kind of security changes to your account, then they will be visible here. However, if you haven’t made any changes, then this section should have nothing to display. Sometimes, despite the owner not making any changes, some things are visible here, which might indicate suspicious activity on your account.
If something is listed here, learn more about it by clicking the down arrow next to the date and time. If everything looks good, give the “Looks Good” button a click. For example, since I haven’t made any changes, it shows no security activity in the last 28 days.
4. Check what other devices are logged into your Account
This section shows how many devices you have used to log into your account. It might not take time if you use your Google Account only on 1-2 devices but it might take a while to review this option if you use your Google Account for any new device you come across.
Here you can check if you need google account access on all the devices that are shown. If you no longer have a device, you can remove it. If the device has been used recently by you, then the last use time, date and location will be shown next to its name. Click on the down arrow at the end to know more about any particular device.
The list shows new devices as well, and there might be a warning if there is a chance that you don’t recognize a specific account. This is because, it might mean, someone else has access to your account.
5. Remove account access permission from apps that you no longer use
This section is about “Account Permissions”. Here you can manage which apps will be allowed to use your Google Account and which not. This is anything that you have logged into with Gmail or otherwise granted permissions to with your account. The list shows the kind of permissions you have given to every app so that even if you have forgotten, you will now get to know if you want to keep giving that permission or not.
If you find something you don’t remember giving permission for or no longer want to give permission for, click the “remove” button to revoke its access. If you accidentally remove an in-use account then just re-grant the access next time you log in.
6. Add 2-Step Verification to your Google account
It is important that you set this up. You can add 2-Step verification in your Google account a few simple steps that where is explained here.
Make sure everything here is up to date by double-checking the details like phone number, authentication method, backup account, and more. If you have not used backup codes to date and still they are less in number, then there might be a problem.
During this entire process, if at any step you find something is not right, just hit the “Something looks wrong” button. On clicking it, you will automatically receive suggestions about what you can do. These will include changing your password.
If you follow the above-mentioned setup you will be able to secure your Gmail and Google Account for free. We advise you to remain vigilant with your account go through Google’s security Checkup feature at least once a quarter to make sure your account is protected.