In this information technology and Internet era, most people connects with each other using Social networks and e-mailing services. With technology advancements, the risk of getting hacked is increases day by day. A hacker who has your email and social media account details can harm you socially and financially.
To stay safe on web you must know some tricks to secure your mailing, social media and other accounts. Most of the people uses Google and its services on daily bases. Here are some best practices to secure Gmail account, most of them works well for all other mail service providers and online accounts.
1. Enable 2-step Verification:
This is a must-enable feature for securing Google accounts. With 2-step Verification process your account gets a two layer of security check. In this feature you have to provide a mobile phone number on which you receive a codes to access Google account on new devices. You can list your personal computing devices in Trusted device list and then Google will remember that device for a period of 30 days. Follow our tutorial to enable and configure 2-step Verification on your Google account.
2. Use HTTPS Settings:
HTTPS (Secure HTTP) is a encrypted way to access web. Information’s send over this address will be encrypted and very hard to crack. Always enable HTTPS settings on your online accounts whenever they offer. By default, Google uses HTTPS technology for most of its service like Gmail, Docs, Google Apps and others. You can also setup HTTPS settings to secure Facebook account.
3. Check Account Login Details:
Google provide their users a account login history details. You can access these details in Gmail account. Seek for the “Last Account Activity: ” link below Inbox in Gmail account and then click on details. A new window will pop-up, which contains last 10 login details to your Gmail account. This chart shows access type (by browser, mobile, POP or IMAP), IP address, location and date/time for login history.
If you find any unusual activity, then try to sign out all other session by clicking on the link available above this chart. You can also setup Alert preferences for unusual activities.
4. Set Account Recovery options:
Account recovery option in Google help you when you forget account password and it also secure your account from hackers. In Google you can recover your account by registering a phone number. Go to “Account Recovery Options” and set up mobile phone, recovery email and alternate email address. In this page you can also set a security question that indicates that you own your account. When you forget Google account password then before sending SMS to your phone or recovery mail to email address Google first asks for security question. To protect security question, Try to set this question a rare one.
5. Use Crack Proof and Hard-to-Guess Passwords:
There are millions of people out there who use some common passwords for all of their online accounts. These passwords are 123456, qwerty, password, abcdef and so on. Hackers and password crackers first try these common password on targeted account. After that they try information about your life like your date of birth, mobile phone number, wife or children name, your pet name etc.
So its better to use passwords which are hard-to-guess by attacker. You can also try some online tools which can create unique passwords for you. Or you can use first letter of each word from a phrase or sentence and make it upper case, lower case. Always use alpha-numeric and special characters in your password.
6. Change Passwords at least once in a Quarter:
It is a good practice to change your online account passwords more often. You can change them once in a month or at least twice in a year. If you have dozens of online profiles the try to change password for your secure accounts like Google, PayPal, Bank account etc.
7. Sign-out all Accounts Before Leaving Public Computers or Cyber Cafe:
Some times we use public computer or cyber cafe’s to access our online accounts. Public computer are least secure devices, most of the unusual activities done using these computers. Generally people forget to log out or sign out their accounts before leaving these computers and become victim of account theft. So before leaving public computers sign out from all your online accounts.
If you forgot to log out from your Google account on public computer then try to sign-out from all other accounts as mentioned in #3 of this tutorial. You can also use “Private Browsing” feature on Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and other browsers.
8. Never use same password for Google account and other Websites:
I know you have dozens of online accounts and its hard to remember all the username and passwords for those accounts. But its a bad habit to use same password for all of your accounts. Some phishing sites, gaming sites, free download portals, porn sites, gambling websites store user passwords and use them to access other accounts of these users. To be safe from these type of mistakes always use unique password fro your secure accounts like Gmail, Banking Account, Facebook, PayPal and others.
9. Update Web Browser and Operating System:
Hackers always try their best to find loop holes in operating system and web browsers. Web browsers are the easiest way for attacking users. Web browser and operating system manufacturers find these loop hols and release a patch file or update to remove it. You have to download these updates and use latest version of operating system and web browser. Most operating system like Windows, Mac and Linux has automatic update settings, try to enable them.
10. Never disclose your account passwords to anyone, even your Girl Friend:
It’s not good for you to disclose login details to friends, family members and spouse.
Use all the above points to get secure. Share your ways to stay safe on web.