Why is it so important to protect your Gmail and Google Accounts?

The Gmail Doctor Can Help You Lock it Down.

The value of the private information contained within our Google accounts has become more valuable to hackers and identity thieves.  Not only does it have all of our private email from friends and family, but it is also a link to your banking accounts, paypal, ebay, brokerage accounts, and more. Plus your email is also valuable to hackers who would love to spam your friends.  Bad people, especially Russians and Iranians have been known to impersonate the owners of email accounts to send malicious email to their contacts.  Fortunately there is a way to lock-down and lock-in your gmail so that only you can use it.  Our Gmail lock down steps are explained here. By following these steps, you can maximize the security of your data within Google’s servers.

Google frequently changes their privacy plan and account layout which makes keeping up with your account’s security more difficult.  As of June 2019, these are the steps to follow to lock down your gmail and google accounts. However, here are steps you can take to guard your Gmail and other Google accounts from unauthorized access.  To follow these lock-down steps, first open up Chrome on a computer, then login to gmail.

Essentially, the main steps are to use a strong password, change it every 30 days, use 2 factor authentication, disable to usage of less secure applications such as Outlook, and review your connected devices periodically.  Furthermore, you should have good recovery options and should verify that they work.

Step 1 is to find the security panel

First thing to do is to open Chrome, then sign into your google account and then into gmail account. Find your account icon.  It can be found by clicking on your Icon in the upper right.  Chrome has a sign-in option too.

Click on your Icon to access the security controls

Click on your account Icon to access the security controls

Click on your account Icon on the upper right corner of Chrome, then click on Google Account in blue. If you don’t have an account icon, now is a good time to add one. It serves as a useful reminder that you are logged in to your account.  You can add this icon by clicking on the default icon, then the Change link.  Just below the account icon, there is a gear shaped icon that also contains another more obscure security feature. It allows you to restrict POP and IMAP access to applications.  As a diversion, click on that, then Settings, then “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” to find this control.

Then click on google account to reveal the page below

The Gmail Security Dashboard of the author

The Gmail Security Dashboard of the author

Use the Gmail Security Dashboard

In this security dashboard, you can use the “Security Issues found” and “secure account” wizard to make the needed changes, or you can click on the “Security” button on the left column.  The security button in the left column will show you everything you need. From here you can turn on 2 factor authentication, plus you can review your devices and apps that can access google under your credentials.  To really lock down your account, enable as many security features as possible.

Gmail security dashboard. From here you can begin to make changes

Always Use 2 Factor Authentification with Your Gmail

From this screen shown above, you can enable 2 factor authentication, which will require a text message be sent everytime you sign into email. Click on the “use your phone to sign in” and “2 step verification” to turn it on.  By doing this, you will ensure that only you can access your account, even if your password gets leaked, others who know your password cannot logon.  You can also scroll down to reveal more settings, such as Recovery Phone and Less secure app access.

Less Secure App Access will prevent outlook from connecting

Less Secure Apps Access Will Prevent Outlook from Connecting to your Gmail

On this same page, you can scroll down to find the “less secure app access” control. Turn off access by clicking on the blue letters to disable the ability of email applications such as Outlook 2007-2016 and Office 365 Outlook to connect to gmail. They will no longer be able to POP, or IMAP your mail.  Outlook will then start asking for the gmail password, and will get stuck in an infinite loop of password prompts. Outlook is known to be very “insecure” because it is capable of letting you connect without any TLS or SSL encryption, thus sending passwords in the clear.

Prevent Outlook from using gmail

Use the wizard to find other issues

A Deep Security Inspection for your google accounts

Use the security checkup wizard to find other issues.  The checkup will further lock down and lock-in your google account. It will identify devices and applications that have security issues.

Identify all of the devices that have access to your google account

Identify all other applications with access to your google account

Using the above screens in the security page, you can review and restrict device and application access to your google account.  The manage devices and manage third party access buttons lead to a page where you can revoke their access.

 

1 comment

  • oprol evorter

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for rookie blog writers? I’d certainly appreciate it.

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