Online services become more important to everyday life with each passing day. Your email accounts are the keys to all your online kingdoms. Your Facebook page, Twitter stream, and even your bank are all registered using one or more of your email accounts. If you’re selling goods or services, email is often the most important avenue for your online marketing strategies. It’s common for the average email user to use the same password across most or all their accounts to make them easier to manage. However, using the same password on multiple accounts can set you up for disaster.
Gmail is one of the most popular email providers in the world. Because Google uses the same login information for all their services, keeping your Gmail account safe is vital for internet security. If you’re using Gmail and associated Alphabet accounts for your business or personal email, use these handy tips to secure them properly.
Check Connected Apps and Sites
It’s convenient to connect various applications, websites, and cloud services to your Google account. It makes it easier to log in, and easier to collect important information in one place. However, having many connected accounts increases the amount of damage that can result from a security breach. The first step on your path to a truly secure Google account is to review all your accounts on the Connected Apps page. Be sure to remove any services you don’t use anymore. This will limit login access to your account, and that will lower your security risk.
Look at Device Activity
You probably use multiple devices to work on your various Google accounts. This is especially true if you use your email account for your online marketing strategies. Visit Recently Used Devices. From this page, you can view a list of all the computers and mobile devices that have access to your account. It’s smart to revoke permissions from any device that you don’t use for your account anymore. In addition to reviewing and managing access to your account, the Recently Used Devices page also lets you choose when and how you get email and text alerts for suspicious activity.
Use Two Factor Authentication
Two Factor Authentication is the best way to secure your Google accounts. When you use two factor authentication, you make a fundamental change to the way your account is secured. You still use your regular password, but Google also archives a second identifier like your mobile phone number. A mobile phone number allows Google to send you a PIN that verifies a second layer of login security on your account. This is very helpful if you travel often, and need to log on to your accounts from different devices in faraway places. On your everyday computer, logging in and out of your Google account still will only require your password.
Use Passphrases Instead of Passwords
Passwords strategies are as numerous as passwords. Everyone, whether an expert or a novice at computer security, has a favorite method for writing and remembering passwords. The most common method is to mix up numbers, letters and symbols, and to use both upper and lower case letters. Complex passwords made from random letters, numbers, and symbols are much harder for hackers to crack, but they’re no good if you can’t keep track of them. Instead of using a single, convoluted password, try using a passphrase. Passwords like “S3l3ct10n” are more difficult to remember than “My Glasses Have 2 Tinted Lenses!” Any password that contains dictionary words is less secure than a purely random set of characters. However, a long passphrase is more secure than a short string of random characters, and easier to remember.
Use a Password Manager
If you have too many passwords to remember easily, try a password manager like LastPass, Dashlane, or Zoho Vault. These services plug in to your browser, and they automatically fill in usernames and passwords across all of your sites. These services are invaluable for online marketing strategies where your usernames and passwords can really stack up. Each of these services offers a free plan, and they’ll work on almost any browser, so you’re sure to find one that works for you.
Your connected Google accounts contain a treasure trove of valuable information. Hacker understand that access to your email account can mean access to all your accounts. Smart password management on your email account is the first step to make all your accounts as secure as Fort Knox. Luckily, with many different security features available, securing your account is easier than ever before.