If you are like me, then your Google Account is something that can tell a lot about you. It contains a lot of personal (and sometimes sensitive) information that you would rather not share with anybody.
Along with the usual Gmail, Calendar, Google Search and YouTube, I use Drive, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, AdWords, Play, Google+, Wallet, Helpouts, Hangouts, Keep and Android. If someone would get access to all of it, as much as I hate this, they would get access to a major part of my personal and work life.
Fortunately, for all of us Google addicts, there is a way to protect your Google account from being hacked or stolen. Follow the next few steps to make your account will be hacker-proof.
Choose a secure password
A password is the first layer of security to your Google account. And you have to make sure that it is secure enough to not get hacked, but still simple enough for you to memorise it (or use a password manager).
Using the following things in your password will definitely make it more secure:
- Lower- and upper case letters
- Special characters like *, %, &, space etc.
A nice tool to create secure passwords is this generator. Just choose how many characters you want your password to be and press “generate”.
Enable 2-step verification
Once your front row is protected, it’s time to cover your back. If you want to add another layer of protection to your account you have to enable the so-called “2-step verification”. Enabling this feature will protect your account even if your password got stolen or hacked.
Once enabled, every time you log into your Google account on a new device (or even every time), you get a special code either via SMS, voice call or the Google Authenticator app for iOS, Android & BlackBerry.
To enable 2-step verification, simply follow Google’s instructions. It’s very simple to do and takes only a couple of minutes.
Check what apps have access to your Google account
Every time you use a third-party app that needs some sort of data from your Google account, you give it access to it. It’s possible that you lose track of all the apps you gave access to your Google account and you probably don’t remember which ones you gave access to your account.
Check out this page to see what apps have authorised access to your Google account and revoke it from the ones you don’t need or use anymore.
Never type in your password on other websites
You will probably think “duh, I’d never be stupid enough to do this”. But you are probably not aware of the fact that some smart-ass scammers create pages that look just like one of Google’s services and ask you to log in. And you really don’t want that to happen.
If any website asks you to log into your Google account, check the address bar and look for something like “https://*****.google.com/*”. This is a sign that it’s indeed Google that asks you to log in and not some kind of scammer.
Investing just a couple of minutes into securing your Google account could possibly save your ass. If you don’t do this and someone hacks and steals your account you will regret not enabling this 2-step verification process.