Gmail Security: 7 Steps to Protect Your Gmail Account
Florian Bersier
January 3, 2017

Do you know that half of US adults get hacked every year? Imagine what it would be like if your Gmail account also got hacked. Not a pleasant thought...

Follow these 7 steps to ensure that your Gmail security is top-notch and you are no longer at risk of being compromised.

STEP 1: Activate 2-Step Verification for Gmail Security

Google’s concern over account theft issues has resulted in the introduction of a security feature known as 2-Step Verification. 2-Step Verification provides an extra layer of Gmail security. Every time you wish to access your account, a code will be sent to your phone; thus making it impossible for another party to guess your password. We believe everyone should have this activated. To do so, click here and follow the on-screen instructions.

Note that you'll need a mobile phone to activite this feature. Should you lose your phone, you can create printable backup codes and a backup phone number as alternatives for accessing your account. You can also create an application-specific password for applications that don’t request a verification code.

It might sound annoying and probably will be the first few times, but it’s certainly the best way to have foolproof Gmail security and not be worried about having your Gmail account hacked.

STEP 2: Detect and Block Email Trackers

You may not be aware that many people and companies track emails they send, without your consent. With this information, they know exactly when, where, and how many times you’ve read their message. Pretty crazy, don't you think? This is a major privacy issue and in our opinion should not be the price you pay for using Gmail.

But fortunately you can protect your email privacy by using Gmelius.

Gmelius offers a feature that lets you detect and block email trackers within your Gmail account. Learn more here.

STEP 3: Don't Share Your Gmail Passwords  - Use Shared Inboxes Instead

If your team uses a group email address such as info@, sales@ or support@, multiple team members need access to it.

Sharing one password is far from being a secure solution. Instead, you can use Gmelius to create shared inboxes for each group email address.

Shared Inboxes allow you to invite relevant team members, and let them manage group emails together, directly from their respective inboxes. Assign emails to specific team members, change the status of a conversation to Pending or Closed, and ad tags for more context.

With Gmelius, your team can forget about duplicate and colliding emails or ignored customers. Teammates will see each other’s avatars if they are viewing an email, and the red ellipsis will pulse in real-time if they are replying.

Check out this article on what exactly is a shared inbox and how it works.

STEP 4: Revoke Access to 3rd Party Apps

You may have signed up to a certain website using your Google credentials or installed third-party extensions. Some of these may be compromising your account and you need to revoke access to the ones you no longer use or trust.

Head to Google’s account permissions page to revoke access to anything you don’t want to keep.

STEP 5: Check for Suspicious Activity

If Google notices suspicious activity in your account they’ll send you a notification. It may be that there are sign-ins from an unfamiliar location or an unfamiliar device. Ideally you should also manually review your account at least once a month to make sure that no suspicious activity has taken place.

To review your account, click on the link 'Details' located on the right hand side of the footer of your mailbox.

Footer Gmail inbox

You’ll see a list of sign-ins and alerts that have been blocked, including sign-ins from new devices.

recent gmail activity

Should you notice unusual activity, try to recall why this activity seems unfamiliar, yet it’s still yours. If you can’t recall the activity and you’re unsure as to why it exists, your best action is to change your password immediately.

STEP 6: Check Account Filters for Forwarding Emails

It’s important that you to ensure that there are no active filters in your account which may be forwarding your email to a third-party email address. This check is simple: Go to your Settings' page and click on the Filters tab. Look for filters you haven’t authorized and delete them.

Check for filters

In addition, check the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab to ensure there’s no unauthorized forwarding address other than those approved by you.

STEP 7: Authenticate Your Emails When Sending Sensitive Information

On receiving an email, you may notice that next to the sender’s email address there’s a small red padlock. This indicates that the message is potentially unsafe.

Gmail red padlock

This red unlocked icon comes with emails that have not been authenticated by Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption. Don't worry too much if you don't understand how the technology works. You only need to be concerned if you see this icon and the message has something to do with passwords or other sensitive information. At this point you need to contact the sender of these insecure emails if want to continue exchanging messages with this person.

Gmail Security - In Conclusion

By taking the above simple steps you can be assured that your Gmail security issues are minimized to the best of your ability. But always be on the lookout for notifications from Google advising that you need to add additional Gmail security in order to stay on top of any new potential vulnerabilities.


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