We daily come across many news related to hacking. Every time people developed a new technique to avoid hackers, they changed their methods and became smarter. But there are certain ways by which you can keep a check on your web activities and protect your online account from being hacked. We will specifically focus on Gmail accounts today. Some simple practices can help you in keeping your Gmail account safe from being hacked. Let’s check out these basic tips.
CHECK THE URL BEFORE SIGNING IN TO YOUR GMAIL
A very common and deadly method used by hackers is phishing. Due to constant habit, people without checking the URL log in or sign in to their Gmail account. This increases the chances of being hacked. Hackers create the replica of the Gmail login page and use it to collect the password and id of the user. As soon as you fill your details and hit enter, this fake login page sends your username and password to another email address or to an FTP location.
AVOID PUBLIC PLACES TO CHECK YOUR MAILS
Have you ever heard about keylogger? Well it’s a simple computer program which has the ability to record the keystrokes made by a user. These keystrokes are recorded in a simple text format and sent to an email address or to an FTP location. Since the process is carried out in background so the users get no idea of such scrupulous activity.
So try not to access your Gmail account from any cyber cafe.
FORWARD YOUR MAILS TO A SECONDARY EMAIL ACCOUNT
Well keyloggers are hard to track as there are many keylogger programs which hardly show up in installed programs. So, in such case you can forward your mail to a secondary account which will help you to keep your data intact. For this you just need to follow few steps:
- Create a new Gmail account and make sure to keep its password different from your other account.
- Now sign in to your Gmail account in which you regularly access your mails and data.
- Click on the wheel on the top right hand corner of your Gmail window and select Mail settings.
- Look for the tab named “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.
- Now select the option “Forward a copy of incoming mail to”. After selecting, fill your new mail address which you just created in the given space. That’s it.
Now on a public place you can access your mail through your new account. This will keep your main account safe.
CHECK GMAIL ACCOUNT ACTIVITY AT REGULAR INTERVALS
You can check your Gmail account activity by monitoring the IP addresses of computers. These IP addresses show the location from where your account is being accessed. In location the name of the country and state initials are mentioned. The details also mention the date and time when your account was accessed. To check the account activity scroll down to your Gmail window and click on “Details”. Refer the image.
If you find any different IP than your regular one, it means your account is being accessed by somewhere else. To prevent such situation, click the “Sign out of all other sessions” button. Gmail will sign out the person who is accessing your account from other location. After this, immediately change the password of your Gmail account.
AVOID CLICKING ON SUSPICIOUS LINKS
Avoid clicking on a suspicious link received through an email. There are websites which allow sending fake emails. Sender can also edit the “From” address to give the mail an authentic look. For e.g. if you receive an email regarding changing your Gmail account password and the sender address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, then a common idea is drawn that the mail is from Gmail but actually it is not. Google/Gmail never sends such mails wherein user is asked to change the password or to enter credentials without any reason.
CHOOSE STRONG PASSWORD
Last but not the least, choosing a strong password is must. A very common mistake committed by people is to use a generic password. Try to choose strong passwords. A strong password can be created by:
- Choosing numbers and alphabets.
- You can also include symbols or special characters.
- For your password, never use your phone number or DOB (date of birth) or credit card number.
- Long passwords help in increasing the strength. Try to choose more than 10 characters.
- Keep your password secret and never share it with anyone. Never write down your password in a diary or in a text document on your computer.
Gmail these days is also providing one more service to make your Gmail more secure. You can connect you mobile number to your Gmail account. In case you forget your password, you can retrieve it with the help your mobile number.