I have previously written about storing all your personal pictures and videos on Google plus and thus save hard disk space. After reading this post people have been asking me ‘what about security?‘ Also ‘what if our account gets hacked?‘ In this post I’ll be sharing some info on how to secure your Google account.
You can find all Google security settings on this page – Google Security Settings. This is one of the things which i love about Google because this enables users to manage all security settings on one single page.
You can completely secure your Google account by making use of these four options:
- Proper password
- Recovery options
- 2 step verification
The first step to secure your Google account is not just choosing the right password but also changing it on a regular basis. Also you must login to your account only from trusted devices and networks. Unknown devices might have keyloggers installed which will record your password while unknown networks might record the information you send over it.
In recovery options you can add a phone number and alternate email address. The phone number and email address you provide to Google can be used to recover your account if your account gets hijacked or if you forget your password.
You can enable email and mobile notifications for your Google account. These notifications help you to stay one step ahead of account hijackers by notifying you of important changes to your account.
For example, if your password is changed or if any suspicious activity is detected then Google will notify you by email and by SMS. You can choose whether you want mobile notifications or not.
Two step verification
This is the most important and essential part of securing your Google account. The 2 step verification will ensure that your account is always protected.
This can be explained in four simple steps –
- Sign in to your Google account by entering username and password as usual.
- A code will be sent to your mobile phone.
- You’ll be asked to enter the code which they sent to your phone.
- Once you enter this code, you’ll be logged in.
Trusted Devices for 2 step verification
When you’re logging in, you can choose not to ask for code again on that particular device. Which means if you login from your home computer you can choose not to be asked for code again, so the next time you login from the same computer you’ll be logged in without 2 step verification.
But if you use a different device then that particular device will go through two step verification at all times unless you choose to make it a trusted device.
Here’s what Google has to say about two step verification –
There’s another feature in addition to two step verification which is called as application specific passwords. I’ll talk about that in the next post.