How to secure a Gmail mobile account?
Do you use Google e-mail and do not want your data to be taken over? Do you suspect that your account may have been hacked or someone has access to it? You should secure it properly. Check out how to do this. We describe step by step how to make sure that no unauthorised person has access to your account, then how to change your log-in details, and finally – how to verify security with a tool provided by Google.
Step 1. Check the log-in history
Where should you start? If you suspect that someone is using your e-mail account or you have noticed on your account an activity that you do not recognise (e.g. information about logging into unknown applications/services), you must check the log-in history. You can do it yourself.
Log in into to your Gmail inbox in your browser. At the very bottom of the screen, on the right, you will find the "Details" – click on it. You will see a dialogue box with all the information about the last activities performed on the given e-mail account, as well as all the actions taking place in parallel. This is where you can check the type of access (that is, on which devices your mailbox is or has been opened), the location and the date and time.
It is a very fast and simple way to check if anyone else has logged in into your account. If you see a suspicious activity, for example – you do not recognise the device or you do not remember that you were logging in from the given location, log out of all active sessions, and then go to the next step.
Step 2. Check the security level of your account
Another thing you should do is checking the "Security" tab in your Google account (https://myaccount.google.com/security). Here you will find the recommendations that will help you secure your account, but also – and more importantly – the security alerts and the list of all the activities you have performed within the last 28 days. You will find there the information on the password changes or the recovery options added. Take a good look at the entire list and verify that everything is in order. Check if the recovery phone number or recovery e-mail address is yours.
Step 3. Check the application
Admittedly, Gmail for mobile devices is extremely useful. You can use it to log in into many applications. However, this also means a great risk of taking over the account. In the "Security" tab (https://myaccount.google.com/permissions) you can check the list of applications you log in into using your Google account. If you do not recognise any of these application, remove it from the list immediately. This is a potential threat and a back door through which unwanted people can easily enter your mailbox.
Step 4. Set a password and the 2-step verification
A strong password is the very basis for reliable security for every account. Checking the security of your mailbox is a good time to change your password. Remember that it is considered a good practice to change your password every three months. Create a unique password with at least eight characters (include upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols), and then set the 2-step verification.
Two-factor authentication is nothing more than a way to log in into your Gmail account with what you know (the password) and what you have (e.g. the phone or security key). First you enter the password, and then a one-time code comes to your phone number (in the form of an SMS or a voice call), which you also need to enter.
A faster solution than a code sent to a mobile device seems to be the so-called Google prompt. After selecting this option, the second stage of verification will consist of displaying the appropriate information on the screen of your phone asking you to confirm that the person trying to log in is you. Double security for your logging in is an effective protection against account takeover. If you are worried that this is too problematic, you can add to a special list the trusted devices (e.g. your personal computer) which will not require the second stage. You can visit: https://myaccount.google.com/permissions.
Step 5. Security CheckUp, that is – the final security check
Did you follow the above steps? Great! Now verify again if everything is set up correctly. It is best if you use the tool provided by Google, that is – Security CheckUp (https://myaccount.google.com/security-checkup). You can use it to track every security level of your Gmail account.
All done? Congratulations! Your Gmail account is secure. Remember, however, to repeat the process described above from time to time. Thanks to this, you can be sure that no unwanted person gains access to your data. Also use additional tools that improve your security. SpotTheSpy works independently from the tools offered by Google. Every time it verifies from where in the world someone is logging in into the inbox. If the GPS coordinates do not match the place where you are currently, you will receive an alert about a suspicious log-in attempt.