Lock your Gmail down – three Google settings you need to activate NOW to stop hackers
WITH millions across the globe now working from home, making sure your tech is safe from hackers is more important than ever.
One of the key things to get right is your email account, which can be an easy access point for prying cyber crooks.
There are a number of ways you can make your Gmail account safe from hackers[/caption]
Anyone with access to your inbox can quickly break into your other web accounts, such as those you use for online shopping or social media.
That’s because scammers who don’t know the passwords to these accounts can request to change them – a process usually completed via your email.
Gmail is the world’s most popular online email service, so The Sun has assembled three of the best ways to lock down your account.
They’re all pretty simple, and should only take a few minutes to complete.
Hackers can use your email account to break into your accounts on other websites[/caption]
1. Two-factor authentication
Adding two-factor authentication (2FA) is a great way to prevent people from breaking in to your account.
Once activated, in addition to entering username and password, Gmail will send a code via text message to your phone which will need to be entered.
You can only log in after you’ve entered your credentials and the unique code.
The setting ensures that someone can’t break into your account even if they have access to your username and password.
Here’s how to activate 2FA on Gmail:
- Go to your Google Account.
- On the left navigation panel, click Security.
- On the Signing in to Google panel, click 2-Step Verification.
- Click Get started.
- Follow the steps on the screen.
You can choose how your 2FA code is sent to you, be that via the Gmail app on your phone, a text message or call, or unique security key.
Last year, Google launched a Password Checkup add-on for the Google Chrome web browser.
It displays a warning whenever you sign in to a website using “one of over 4billion usernames and passwords” that have been hacked.
Google does this by cross-referencing your log-in details with a huge list of hacked log-ins.
There’s obviously a huge risk for anyone whose username and passwords have been hacked.
It’s important to immediately change your log-in details to stay safe.
But even passwords uploaded online without associated usernames can put you at risk.
If you use a very simple password, it’s likely someone else does too – and they may have been hacked themselves.
Hackers buy huge lists of these compromised passwords because people often re-use them.
So hackers are much more likely to gain access to an account by forcing a long list of “known” hacked passwords than trying random letters or numbers.
You can download Password Checkup from the Chrome webstore by clicking here.
Alternatively, popular web-tool Have I Been Pwned also lets you check if you’ve ever been hacked.
How to keep yourself safe from hackers and scammers
FOLLOW these steps to protect yourself from hackers in the future:
- Make a ‘strong’ password with 8 or more characters and a combination of upper case characters, numbers and symbols
- Don’t do online banking on public WiFi, unless absolutely necessary
- Don’t click on dodgy email links claiming to be from banks
- Use different passwords for different sites
- Never re-use your main email password
- Use anti-virus software
- Don’t accept Facebook friend requests or LinkedIn invitations from people you don’t know
- Think before you put personal info on social media
- Find My iPhone, Android Lost and BlackBerry Protect all allow you to remotely wipe a stolen phone. Set this feature up
- Only shop online on secure sites
- Don’t store your card details on websites
- Password protect your phone and other devices
Check account activity
It’s worth checking the activity on your account every now and then to make sure nobody’s been using it without your permission.
To access it, open Gmail on your computer and log in to your account.
In the bottom right, click “details” to open the account activity popup window.
This shows you the time, date, location and type of device used to acces your account.
Don’t like what you see? We recommend you change your password urgently.
Most read in Phones & Gadgets
In other news, hackers recently tricked Google Alerts into sending malware-ridden links to users.
Google has deleted over 30 popular apps from the Play Store.
And, a tech blogger has revealed the possible design for next year’s iPhone 12.
Have you had any cyber security problems recently? Let us know in the comments…
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