“I don’t know how my Gmail account has got hacked and how to protect it from being hacked” is a common statement that we hear from our friends, relatives, and co-workers. Most people are unaware that their Gmail account may be vulnerable to cyber-attack.
Our Gmail account stores the most sensitive information like our address book, confidential attachments, private conversations, which would be stolen by hackers. The best way to know whether someone is using your Gmail account is to enter your own Gmail account and to look at the bottom right ‘Last Account Activity’ and ‘Details’. Just click on ‘Details’ and you will get a table showing access type (Browser, mobile, POP3, etc.), location (IP address), date/time.
Why do hackers want to get into your Gmail inbox?
We keep photos, tax forms, credit card PINs, passwords, contracts, confidential information in our Gmail account, which is interconnected to other digital accounts. Hackers know how to take advantage of that valuable information. They by simply breaching easily get access to our Gmail account.
- Hackers use your data to make financial activities in your name.
- They may use credit card details and ruin its rating.
- They may open bank accounts in your name to take loans from the bank.
Don’t get tensed. We will suggest you 11 ways to dramatically improve the security of your Gmail account
11 ways to stop hackers from using your Gmail account
1. 2- Step verification
Google 2- step verification is the safest process to keep your Gmail account protected from hackers. First, enter your password and then enter a verification code through text. This 2- Step verification is necessary if you try to sign in to your Gmail account from other computers.
2. Avoid spam or phishing messages
Spam may contain “claim your reward”, “your money is waiting” etc. Just avoid them. For instance, I received an email from Bank of India that my account will be closed if I do not furnish my bank account details, ATM Pin, and contact information. I was asked to give my bank account details via e- mail as soon as possible. This e- mail was nothing but phishing message to hack my bank account because no banks ask for bank details or other information through e- mail or phone. I ignored the email and informed my bank manager regarding the same to stop any unauthorized payments in my account.
3. Remove Apps that have access to your personal information
Whenever you sign up for an app connected with your Gmail account, you are giving your information to the App. Hackers may install the App via Google Play, Google Store etc. You must revoke access to the Apps, which you won’t use anymore.
4. Password security
Change your password often and never share your password with anyone. And if you have shared your password with anybody else, change it as soon as possible because your password is your security code. Your password must be 8 characters but it is safe to use 12 to 15 characters. Don’t use personal information like a nickname, date of birth, street name as your password. Never use the same password for more than one site.
5. Remove e- mail spoofing through strong password
E- mail spoofing is the way for creating e- mail phishing attack as well as spam attack the steps of cyber are hacking. E- Mail spoofing makes the PC or Laptop as a zombie of the botnet to connect to the CnC (Command and Control) server and wait for the command for the attack. To further protect the e- mail account, a strong password of Alfa numerical upper case and lower case combination is necessary unless Dictionary attack and Brute force attack can break the password of the Gmail. The Password can be anything but avoid the combination of names. Otherwise, a zero- day attack of your account is also possible.
6. Account recovery option
If your Gmail account is hacked, Google sends the security code through either your phone number or your e- mail address. So you should have a secondary e- mail id. First sign in your Gmail account, then click ‘settings’ and then ‘Accounts and Import’. Under ‘Change Account Settings’, ‘Change Password Recovery Options’ are there to edit your security options. ‘Password Recovery Options’ helps to protect your Gmail account from hackers.
7. Enable HTTPS Security
To enable HTTPS Security, first sign in your Gmail account. Then click ‘Settings’. Next press ‘General’ and ‘Browser connection’. Select ‘Always use HTTPS’ and don’t forget to click ‘Save Changes’.
8. Check Filter and Blocked addresses
You should delete the filter whenever you will notice any suspicious emails in your account. Actually, hackers add filters on victims account. To check filter first log in to your Gmail account. Then click ‘settings’ under which ‘filters and blocked addresses’ are there.
9. Google Security Checkup
Google security checkup helps you to identify unauthorized activities on your Gmail. First, sign in> my account>security check up.
10. Gmail security alerts
Don’t ignore Gmail security alerts that Gmail sends you. Try to update your security. Gmail sends this notification when it feels necessary.
11. Sign out option
Never leave your Gmail account signed in. Naturally, anybody will access your Gmail account. Always click ‘sign out’ button before closing the browser’s window.
According to Google, one’s Gmail account hacking occurs due to phishing or spam messages. Google suggests that they send account security topics to users regularly. They develop technologies like Google alert to protect user accounts. Google’s suggestion is to follow good account security hygiene.
Most of the people just delete the wrongly addressed e- mails, ignore Gmail security alerts and don’t know how to protect their account from being used by hackers. The above- mentioned methods are the effective ways to protect your Gmail account.
Read it and share it with your friends to let them know about the procedures to save their account. We all know well “Precaution is better than cure”.