Tuesday, 12 August 2014

10 Easy Steps to Protect Your Gmail Account

Now a day, Gmail is amongst the most popular online email service providers which makes it easy for us to communicate with each other. Many users create accounts with Gmail in a day either for professional or personal use and store their entire data on the respective account, increasing their dependability on Gmail. Apart from that, many social networking accounts, PayPal accounts, website registrations, etc., are directly connected and managed by Gmail account. Thus, it is important to secure your Gmail account completely and avoid unauthorized access from third party sources.
Regular Gmail users always seek an answer for how to protect Gmail accounts from being hacked. Check out the following segment for a few tips to know find a suitable answer for the same.

How Your Gmail Account Be Hacked?

  1. Most of the Gmail accounts today are being hacked because computers are easily compromised to malware. A malware can easily set key logger on your PC, steal your account password and send it to the hacker.
  2. Always remember, hackers are not stupid, so always check your security options carefully.
  3. The victim always usually chooses a password that can easily be guessed such as 1234 or myiphone, etc.
Protect Your Gmail Account:

Selecting a strong username or password is not sufficient for Gmail security purpose.  You should always be aware how people attempt to access other people’s email accounts by illegal methods. Here are some helpful instructions to avoid being hacked and secure your Gmail account:

1) Ensure the URL Before Logging In: Always confirm that you are logged in to Gmail only by typing www.gmail.com not from any new URL shared to you on a mail, etc. 

2) 2-Step Verification: To fight the rising account theft problems, Google has set up a security feature known as “2-step Verification” which really makes your Gmail account strongly secured. In common words, it adds an extra layer of security by asking for the security code sent to your phone every time you request for the account access. Thus, after applying this 2-step verification it is impossible for anybody to hack into your Gmail account without your cell phone. This is the best solution to know how to protect Gmail accounts from hackers.

3) Enable HTTPS Security: If you are accessing your Gmail account without HTTPS via non-encrypted or wireless networks that means you are offering an easy way for the hackers to crack or open a path into your Gmail account. So it is necessary to enable the option (https) from your Gmail Account setting.

Login Gmail >> Settings >> General >> Browser Connection >> Check “Always use HTTPS”. Never forget to save the changes.

Though, HTTPS is enabled by default for all, but incidents in the past has trained me that it’s always better to ensure that the HTTPS option is on.


4) Confirm Granted Account Access: Always be sure that the radio button, Mark conversation as read when opened by others is selected. So, when somebody is trying to read mails without authorization, you will be aware about it. 


5) Don’t Click on Suspicious Links: There are many websites which let anyone send fake emails to any of your email addresses.  Avoid all these types of suspicious emails with unknown links that can harm you and your account.


6) Check Forwarding and POP/IMAP Filters: Confirm that there is no strange forwarding email address included in “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab apart from those allotted by you. You will also need to check your account setting to delete doubtful filters from the filter list.


7) Revoke Unauthorized Access: You might have granted permission to any web application or website that requested for access into your Google Account. And that’s one of the new tricks that hackers apply to get access to your Gmail.

Click “Revoke Access” if you get any suspicious applications, and it’s a good way to revoke access to any application that is not needed any longer, even if they are not destructive.

8) Regularly Track Account Activity: Google has developed an Activity Information Panel for Gmail users to help them track their account activities.  To check the last activity on your account, you should click on Details from the bottom left. After that a window will pop-up on your screen with the entire account activity information.


9) Improve Security Questions: You will be shocked to know that hackers love to access your account using mail recovery security question. So try to use a strong and difficult answer for your security question to protect Gmail account. 


10) Create a Strong Password: On the last point of this segment, I just want to point out that you should always create a strong password. Also, never trust anyone regarding password sharing or even when you get emails from your friends. Their account might be hacked and those emails may not actually be sent by them or with their permission.


Conclusion: As far as professional hackers are concerned, if they really want to hack your account, there is mainly no way to stop the attack. However, if you do your best to prevent the possible methods of attack, then the chance of your account being hacked will be greatly decreased. Generally the hacker won’t spend too much time on a random Gmail account hence, if you have confidential information stored on your account kindly back it up.


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