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4 steps to protect your Gmail account right away

You wouldn’t want someone to snoop on your Gmail account, would you? Protect it right now.

Protect your Gmail account to keep your private information safe.
Protect your Gmail account to keep your private information safe.

From bank statements to personal messages , and even password reset requests, your Gmail account contains a wealth of personal information. If someone had access to it, in practice they could access your entire identity online.

Rather than simply waiting for hackers not to access your account, take 10 minutes of your time and secure your Gmail account right now.

Use a strong password

I suspect that we are all guilty of having reused simple passwords at some point. I admit that I used to. But using the same passwords on multiple sites and services is like asking someone to hack your accounts. It is enough with an information leak or data violation in some service, so that the hackers begin to try to log in to all your accounts.

It is time to change things. Use unique, randomly generated passwords for each online account you have. Keeping track of all those passwords is easy if you use a password manager.

To change the password for your Google account, visit the security page account  and click Password ( Password ) in section Signing in to Google ( Log on Google ). Verify your password if prompted, then enter your new password (generated by your administrator password) and click Change Password ( Change Password ).

Set up two-step verification in your Google account.

Set up two-step verification in your Google account.

Enable two-step verification

Without two-step verification, also known as two-factor authentication, hackers only need your password to access your entire Google account, which includes YouTube, Gmail, and Google Pay. And remember, if you reuse the same password for multiple services, hackers could get it from a data breach or through a phishing scam.

With two-step verification, hackers would need your password and a randomly generated six-digit access code, or have physical access to your phone, in order to access your account.

Enables two – step verification visiting the page up your Google account and clicking on 2-Step Verification ( 2 – step verification ).

Setting up two-step verification

Setting up two-step verification greatly reduces the chances of someone accessing your account.

Follow the prompts until you reach the section you see in the screenshot above. Once there, decide if you want to receive push alerts in the Gmail app to approve login requests (the default option), or if you want to use random access codes. Using alerts in the Gmail application is easier, but it means that you must have your phone close at all times. You will also need a data connection to approve the alert. If you are in a place without coverage, such as on a plane, for example, you will need to connect to Wi-Fi.

If you choose to use an access code, you can receive it by text message or access it in a password manager. I use a password manager to manage my verification codes in two steps, allowing me to access the codes on any device, regardless of whether I have a data connection on my phone.

If you choose to use alerts, click Try it now ( Try Now ). You will receive an alert on the phone that appeared on the screen. Follow the rest of the prompts to complete the setup.

But if you want to use access codes, click Choose another option ( Choose another option ) and then Text message or voice call ( text message or phone call ).

Enter your phone number and then enter the code to activate two-step verification. After entering the code and clicking a few more buttons, two-step verification will be activated.

Scan the QR code to add your verification codes in two steps to Authenticator or your password manager.

Scan the QR code to add your verification codes in two steps to Authenticator or your password manager.

But wait, we’re not done yet. Although using two-step verification using access codes sent by text message is safer than not using it at all, I recommend using push alerts if possible . The scams change SIM cards are becoming more common, and allow hackers to take over your phone number and receive your verification codes in two steps.

If you prefer to use access codes, take a few extra minutes of your time and set up an authentication app for your Google account. You can use the Google Authenticator app or a password manager. Click Set Up ( Configuration ) section of the application Authenticator app ( App of the Authenticator ) and then select the type of phone you use. Use your preferred application to scan the QR code, then enter the access code generated by your application to verify that everything is configured correctly and ready.

Note : There is an even more secure option to protect your Google account that uses a physical security key. For most people, however, charging an additional device is not a realistic option. At the very least, you should activate two-step verification.

Make sure this section has the correct information in case you cannot access your account.

Make sure this section has the correct information in case you cannot access your account.

Check your backup contact methods

It is possible that from the first time you set up your Gmail account you have changed your phone number or closed a previous email account. Therefore, it is a good idea to verify your backup contact methods. It is the information that Google will use in case you cannot access your account to confirm that it really belongs to you.

Visit this page and look for the section entitled Ways we can verify it’s you ( Ways to verify your identity ).

Click on each section – Recovery phone ( Phone Recovery ) Recovery email ( E – mail retrieval ) and Security question ( security question ) – and updates the information if necessary.

Remember that if this information is out of date and you cannot access your account, Google will not be able to verify that you belong.

If you suspect that someone is accessing your Gmail account, check where they access it on the web and close all sessions.

If you suspect that someone is accessing your Gmail account, check where they access it on the web and close all sessions.

Check your account activity

It is possible that a hacker (or an ex) is accessing your account without your knowledge. To verify it, log in to your Gmail account and scroll to the bottom of the page. You will see a line that says “Last account activity”.

At the end of that line, click Details ( Details ) to see me when, how and where you are using your account. If you suspect that there is some unknown activity, click the button Sign out of all other sessions Gmail web ( Close all other open sessions on the web ) and change your password immediately.

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