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Gmail Security: 10 tips to keep your account safe

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Email is the most critical aspect of our digital identities as it can unlock the doors to our other digital accounts and assets. If you use email for either professional or personal reasons, you likely have a Gmail account, which contains several important details such as financial transactions to private photos, important documents and more. Thus, it is becoming increasingly necessary to keep our inbox secure and clean.

According to a report by PhishMe, 91% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email

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Also Read: 10 Smartphone Security Tips You Should Follow, But You Don’t

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Do you fear that your Gmail account might be hacked some day? Hang on, we have 10 quick safety tips to ensure that your Gmail inbox security is top-notch and you are no longer at risk of being compromised.

  1. Pick a unique and strong password

Hackers use password-guessing software that helps to crack passwords. This software runs through millions of combinations – the more complex the password, the more time it takes the software to decode it. Using a password manager is an excellent way to make and securely store unique passwords.

  1. Don’t open an attachment unless you know who the sender is

Unexpected or suspicious email attachments should never be opened. They may execute malware, adware, spyware, virus, etc. that could damage or steal your important data. If in doubt, call the sender to verify.

  1. Back up your Gmail emails

You can easily back up your Gmail address book by going to your contacts, choosing the contacts you want to save, then choosing Export. You can download them as a CSV and save the file to your device or your favorite cloud backup service.

  1. Use 2FA or Two-Factor Authentication

2FA or Two-Factor Authentication is used to protect your data from security breaches, phishing, and password brute-force attacks. With the 2FA security enabled from your side, knowing the password alone is not enough for cyber attackers to pass the security check.

  1. Set up recovery information

It is always a good idea to add some recovery information as a backup in case your account becomes inaccessible to you. Follow the below steps for the same:

  • Go to your Google Account
  • On the left navigation panel, click Personal info
  • On the Contact info section, click Email or Phone
  • From here, you can: Add a recovery email. Change or delete your recovery email: Next to your email, select Edit
  • Follow the steps on the screen
  1. Use separate email accounts

Do not put all your eggs in one basket, or all your emails in one inbox. There is always a chance that a hacker might break into your account, and if you only have one, you will lose access to everything. Keeping multiple email accounts helps boost your security by allocating different types of messages in several places, instead of one focused hub.

  1. Never access emails from public Wi-Fi

Avoid checking your email when you are on a public Wi-Fi, such as when you are at a coffee shop, airport, or park. It can be tempting to want to be connected everywhere you go, but public Wi-Fi can be extremely insecure.

  1. Revoke access to 3rd Party Apps

When you install a third-party app, you may receive a request to access information such as your location, contacts, camera, or calendar. Some applications may require access to specific data in order to function.  Even if you grant this permission, you can manage or change these permissions in the main settings of your device. To check and manage this, go to Manage Your Google Account > Security > Third-party apps with account access.

  1. Check crucial account events

An activity log is a helpful security measure to identify and track probable hacking attempts. To check this, Go to Manage Your Account > Recent Security Activity. You can also check ‘Your Devices’ to check the devices you’re currently signed-in to your Google account.

  1. Use confidential mode

You can send messages and attachments with Gmail’s confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will have options to forward, copy, print, and receive a ‘view only’ with download disabled. To enable this:

  • Click Compose
  • In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode.
  • Set an expiration date and passcode. These settings impact both the message text and any attachments.
  • If you choose “No SMS passcode,” recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don’t use Gmail will be emailed a passcode.
  • If you choose “SMS passcode,” recipients will get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient’s phone number, not your own.

Gmail is the top email service in the industry and does everything it can to secure its users from external security threats. However, it is also up to every individual to ensure the security of the account. The above-mentioned tips and tricks can help you keep your email account secure to a great extent.

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