9 Ways to Prevent Gmail Account Getting Hacked

gmail account hacked
By Aditya Samanta Updated

You are at your smartphone, sending an email to a special friend, hoping she will be the only one to read it. But these days you never know who’s gonna read it first. Prying eyes are all over the web, be it a hacker or the government surveillance, they are always trying to steal private information. In this article, we will share with you simple tips which will help you to prevent Gmail account getting hacked.

Don’t reuse your Google account password

Never reuse your Google account password. Plain and simple. If you use it somewhere else and that site gets hacked, then the hacker will be able to login to your Google account.

Protect your password

Never log in to your Google account from an untrusted site. Be very careful when following links sent your Gmail account. If you don’t trust or know the site, then don’t log in. Never write down your password, never text or email it and don’t tell anyone. Remember, Google will never email you asking for your password. If you want to prevent Gmail Account getting hacked, then protect your password.

Always use the official Google pages while login into your Google account. Playing it safe is one of the easiest ways to prevent Gmail Account getting hacked.

Use a strong password

Nothing new or fancy here as would expect. Your password should be minimum 8 characters long. Password length between 12 to 16 is safe and easier to type. But you can always go hardcore and use more than 16 characters. But length isn’t enough. Always use a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers and special characters.

Don’t use common dictionary words as they are predictable. Also don’t use your name, your mobile number or any such information of your close ones.

Enable 2-Step verification

Want to make your account hackproof? Enable two-factor authentication and you are good to go. When enabled, Google requires you to enter a verification code sent to your mobile before you can log in to your account. Without your phone, no one can access your account. You can also mark trusted devices. This way you won’t need to enter the mobile security code when accessing your account next time. The setup is simple. Simply visit this page and follow the steps.

Just make sure that you setup an alternate verification option. Else you won’t be able to access your account if you lose your mobile.

Use strong security questions

For a hacker, this is one of the easiest ways to gain access to your Gmail account. Sites don’t cheer you to use strong security questions and hackers love it. Setting a strong security question is important.

A good security question is something that is easier to remember for a long time and does not change. It should have thousands of possible answers. It’s not something you share on the social network or something common like what’s your favourite sports?

Unlike me, if you are good at remembering things, then you can set the answer to something entirely different than the question. The poor hacker would be clueless!

Track account activity

If you are experiencing suspicious activity in your Gmail account, then you need to check your Gmail account activity. Login to your Gmail account and scroll down. On the bottom right corner of the screen, the text that says “Last account activity: …” and click on the details link.You will find information about your recent Gmail activity. Information includes the browser used, date and IP address.

gmail activity

You will find information about your recent Gmail activity. Information includes the browser used, date and IP address. You can also choose to show an alert when Google detects unusual activities in your Gmail account.

gmail activity details

Don’t use public computers

Don’t trust public computers. They are anything but secure. Only log in to your Google account when using a private computer. Public computers may have keyloggers installed, and you won’t be able to detect it.

If you must use a public computer, then make sure you log out when you are done. Don’t save your passwords on a public computer. Clear all browser cache, form fields and cookies. Clear passwords too if you saved any.

If you are using wireless connectivity, then make sure you are using WPA. A good antivirus will help you stay safe from keyloggers.

Check Account Grants

Granting access to your account enables others to read, send and delete your private emails from your own account. They won’t be able to change your account settings or your password but do you really think they care? If you are noticing weird activities then this is something you should check. Log in to your Gmail account. On the top right corner of the screen, click on the settings menu (with a gear icon) and select settings. Look for “Grant access to your account”‘ and remove any unknown account.

gmail account access

While you are there, also check “Mark conversation as read when opened by others”. This way you will be able to detect when someone else is reading your private emails.

Revoke access from Google account

A clean way for hackers to gain access to your Google account is using authorized tokens. Tech jargon aside, you have seen it many times when a site or an app asks for your request to access your Facebook, Twitter or Google account. What it does is it grants the app or the site access to your account.

Never grant access to unknown sites or apps. Go to this address, and check for any suspicious apps or sites that have access to your Google account. Click on it and select “Remove” to revoke access.

Conclusion

When it comes to security, the folks over at Google mean business. Gmail uses industry standard authentication and  has always supported TLS. Running behind the scenes, are tons of security measures to make sure that your emails are getting sent and received in sealed envelopes rather than postcards. But still you may find that your Gmail account has been compromised. Take precautions yourself and you will be able to prevent Gmail account getting hacked.