Guide to protecting your Google account from hackers
Of Chinenye Anuforo
As technology is improving every day, cybercriminals (hackers) are also trying to improve themselves to improve their game. They are always trying to find their way to advanced technologies or solutions, hence the need to protect yourself online.
Hackers are always trying to find ways to hack into your Google account and steal your information. Fortunately, Google has many tools you can use to keep your account secure. This the article will teach you how to keep your Google account safe from hackers.
Create a strong password. Don’t use your name, date of birth, pets or children’s names, or the name of your street as a password: make it hard to guess
•A strong password will be at least 10 characters long, but the more the better. The longer your password is, the more time it will take the hacker to crack it.
•A strong password should contain at least one of each of the following characters: lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and special characters
Don’t use your Google password anywhere else. Create a different password for each website you use
•It is not enough to use the same password with different numbers at the end (eg password1, password2 …).
• Consider downloading the Password Alert extension if you use Google Chrome. Password Alert will warn you every time you enter your Google password on a non-Google website, which can help protect you from phishing and accidentally using your Google password on another website. To use Password Alert, download it from the Chrome Store and then follow the on-screen instructions.
Consider using a password manager. As you create more accounts and passwords, it will likely be difficult to remember them all. There are many good password managers available that will encrypt and securely store your passwords, such as 1Password, LastPass and KeePass
•You can have a password manager built into your operating system – for example, Mac users have Keychain available to them for free.
•If you don’t want to use a password manager, consider using a passphrase, such as: “I like big butts and I can’t lie!” can become iLbBaIcL!
Avoid sharing your Google password with anyone. Even people you trust, like friends and family, can accidentally share your password with someone you don’t trust
Only log on to trusted computers. If you’re using a computer you don’t know or trust, don’t even sign in to your account. Hackers typically use key loggers on computer systems that record everything you type, including passwords.
•If it is not possible for you to avoid typing a password on a computer you do not trust, change your password when you are back at your own computer.
Enable two-step verification. Two-step verification ensures that even if a hacker guesses your password, your account will still be safe. Every time you sign in from a new device, you will receive a code or a notification from Google that you must enter or approve in order for the sign-in to be successful
•Google request is the most secure method of two-step verification, while an authenticator app is somewhere in the middle with voice or text as the least secure (although some of these methods will be more secure than no two-step verification at all).
Check your account activity regularly. Google keeps a log of all important security events in your account and allows you to view them. The log will show the changes and the location of where the changes were made. If you click on the event, you can see more information about it, such as the IP address of the computer that made the change, the device used, and a map of its location.
•If you see something you don’t recognize, you should change your password immediately.
Review your app passwords. Delete app passwords that you no longer use to make it harder to hack into your account. If you use an app that requires an app password, you should look at other services or apps that don’t require an app password, as app passwords can allow hackers to bypass two-step verification
•If you don’t have any app password, you can skip this step.
Choose a secure PIN code. Some Google services, such as Google Pay, allow you to enter a PIN code that you can use to verify your identity. When choosing a PIN, use a completely random number. Do not use your date of birth, home address, part of a phone number or any other number that can be linked back to you.
•Your account may not have the ability to set a PIN.
Add a recovery phone and email address. Adding a recovery phone or email allows you to access your account in case you forget your password. It can also allow you to take control of your account back from the hacker.
• Make sure you only use an email address or phone number that you control, don’t use friends or family. Even if you trust your friends or family, their account can be hacked or their phone stolen, which will put your account at risk.
Review the devices signed in to your account and check access to third-party apps. By reviewing these areas of your account, you can ensure that only your current devices and services have access to your account. Be sure to remove all old devices and accounts that you no longer use. If you see something you do not recognize, you should immediately remove it and change your password.