Gmail has been active in the electronic communication world over a decade ago. With 1 billion users in 2016, Gmail is continuing its successful journey. People in different age group use Gmail for personal, professional, educational and many other purposes.
The below settings make your Gmail account most secure and keep hackers’ tricks away from your account.
1) Stronger password.
Gmail itself clues us to create a password that is long, combined with letters, numbers and symbols.
Avoid easy and common passwords like your name, phone number or some common phrases. If you are using phrases, combine it with numbers and symbols.
Try to create a password which you can easily remember and most unique one. For example, “iwasbornonfebruary29”. But the phrase is too long and also there are chances of getting hacked. So you can convert it logically into, “iwbof29” or else inserting some keywords, “i#wbof$29!”.These are some examples. Otherwise, you can create 24 keys password and memorize it every day until once you know it by heart.
To secure all your online accounts, keep separate strong passwords for each account. Or else if a hacker gets into one of your accounts, he/she could easily gain access to your other online accounts also.
2) Step verification
Google has introduced the 2-Step verification feature that will add an extra layer of protection for your Gmail account. In short, whenever you access your account, a verification code will be sent to your mobile number as a security code. This also allows you to suddenly identify if any anonymous person access your account.
You can enable this setting from the Setup 2-step verification easily. You can select SMS text message or Voice call method for verification. Gmail provides features to get printable backup codes and a backup phone number as alternatives to access the account in case you lose your mobile phone.
3) Enable HTTPs Security
Enable https whenever you use your account, especially when you are connected to public wireless networks or encrypted networks. If the feature is disabled, hackers can easily crack open your account over the connected internet.
To enable this feature, go to the Settings page, select General and then Browser connection. Check “Always use https” from the options and save changes. The secure protocol can hide your path from being published over the network.
4) Delete suspicious filters
Filters can potentially transfer e-mails to the hijacker as long as the victim’s account contains a suspicious filter within it. Such filters will be attached whenever an account is signed on and the user opens other potentially harmful websites. Intruders can add a backdoor to the Gmail account to extract information.
In order to protect your account from such harmful activities, regularly check your account settings and delete suspicious filters. Go to Settings and then Filters to check and delete the unauthorized filters present (if any) in the list.
It is also recommended to check the “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” tab as well to ensure that there is no foreign forwarding address present apart from those you have included. Perform these checks on a regular basis or whenever you feel like something unusual is happening with your account.
5) Track Account Activity
Always track your account activity. This helps you swiftly recognize if any abnormal activity takes place. You can enable this feature in the “Activity on this account” section and also sign out from other sections that may have previously opened (if any).
You can also set the “Alert preference” so Gmail could alert in cases of any suspicious activities.
6) Browser Plugins
Adopt Browser Plugins to make your account even more protected. Browser Plugins will help you easily recognize phishing sites and by removing threats. Web of Trust (WOT) is a recommendable browser plugin that checks whether a page is suspicious or not. Also try to avoid cookies. It stores certain user preferences and information for access in the future, but in some cases, it can harm you by leaving a path for hijackers to hack your account.
Whenever you get a message from strangers asking your personal information or any password or ask for money transfers, do Report Phishing.
Even after doing all the settings to secure your account, there are chances of hijacking. The best method is to use 2-step verification and WOT add-ons which ensure a bit more security more than other features. And do not forget to change your password frequently and keep it secret only.