Proven Ways to Secure your Gmail Account from Hackers
By Christine Margret 9 minutes
When we hear the word Gmail, we feel safe and private, after all it is amongst the most secure email providers across the globe. It is crucial to take care of your Gmail account. Besides the most important emails, many Google services are linked with your Gmail account.
It means that if your Gmail account is not secured and gets hacked, then not only your emails are at risk, but all the other Google services can also suffer.
Google services include Google Drive, Calendar, and Google Plus, all are in sync with your Gmail account. Therefore, it is significant to make sure that your Gmail security is well-protected. This blog addresses all the verified practices to improve your Gmail privacy.
Before exploring the hacks for Gmail account security, let’s first hop on to know how secure your Gmail account is.
How Secure Is Gmail?
Gmail is not a completely secure email provider. Gmail keeps you protected to a certain level and uses TLS encryption to keep your data safe from intruders. It also uses 128-bit encryption that is built to improve the level of your privacy.
Google has been accessing the user’s Gmail account to scan emails and collect relevant users’ information for ads. However, later, Google assigned this task to the bots. It also allowed their partners to have access to the users’ account emails.
It means that not only bots but other human beings were also accessing and reading users’ emails without consent. Google later clarified that both Google and its partners did this to train the AIs.
Fortunately, you can now keep your emails secure from unwanted access. The best way to keep your email account private and secure is to enable Gmail security features.
FastestVPN will guide you on how to protect your Gmail account, but first, let’s find what is more secure: Gmail or Outlook.
Which Is More Secure – Gmail or Outlook?
Gmail has been leading the space for years, on the other side, Outlook is not as much in demand as Gmail. All in all, both services are almost the same in productivity, but, in terms of features still, Gmail offers more than Outlook. So, Gmail, because of its sheer versatility, is better than Outlook.
Is Gmail Secure for Personal Use?
Yes. Gmail is secure for personal use. Google encrypts users’ data and transmits it with TLS 1.1.
The encrypted Google data is further verified by the SHA1 cryptographic hash function and then decoded by ECDHE_RSA key exchange algorithm.
It means that Google transfers you the Gmail information in an encoded format, and only you have the access key to decode that data.
Is Gmail Secure to Send Documents?
Yes, Gmail is secure to send documents. You can also send Gmail attachments securely by enabling Gmail’s confidential mode. Activating Gmail confidential mode declines any unauthorised access and protects your sensitive information.
Plus, it allows you to set the expiration date for the messages and cancel the reader’s access anytime you want.
With confidential mode on, options including copy, print, forward, and download will be disabled for the recipients. However, it is not 100% secure because it only protects your data from accidental sharing, still, recipients may take a screenshot of the message.
Here’s how to activate Gmail confidential mode:
- Open Gmail
- Click on Compose
- Now, you will see the icons that are screenshot below
- Click at the watch icon to turn on confidential mode.
In case, if you’ve already turned it on and want to set the expiration date then follow the steps below:
- Go to the bottom of the email and click the watch icon
- Set an expiration date and passcode
- Click at “Save” to update your settings.
Note: If you click at “No SMS passcode,” then your Gmail recipients will open the message directly, however, recipients with no Gmail account will get an emailed passcode. If you select “SMS passcode,” then the receiver will receive a code via text message. Make sure to enter the receiver’s phone number instead of yours.
How Safe Is Gmail from Hackers?
You can keep your Gmail safe from hackers by marking the Gmail security checklist. To keep your Gmail account safe from hackers, use the Chrome extension that is built to secure your online accounts.
This new Chrome extension is powered by Google. The new Chrome extension by Google is known as a password checkup.
Password checkup allows you to boost your Gmail security. It detects whether the combination of your Gmail password and username is secure or not.
Hackers always look for security holes to exploit it. They steal sensitive data and throw malware and phishing emails; meanwhile, Google has come up with a possible working solution as Password Checkup to keep you safe from hacking and malicious activities.
Here’s how to use Google Password Checkup:
- Install Password Checkup on your Chrome browser
- Check the “password checkup” icon on the browser bar to make sure that the extension is installed
- Once installed, you can use it now.
Every time when you log in to a site, Google Password Checkup, checks and verifies your login credentials to ensure that they are safe to continue.
However, if your credentials are not safe to use then, it will be matched from one of Google’s database sets of credentials. Google will immediately suggest you alter the password to something that is not being exposed.
According to Google, the whole process is quite secure, and login credentials are completely encrypted and hashed when transmitting to Google. To enhance the Gmail account security, Google searches the list of logins through “blinding and private information retrieval”.
Is Gmail Secure on Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi are unsecure network. Therefore, there are more chances for hackers to intercept your web traffic. It is not recommended to use a Wi-Fi connection in a coffee shop or at the Airport. However, if it’s really necessary to get connected, then enable your Gmail security features, including two-factor authentication.
The first and most important thing is to use a VPN while using public Wi-Fi. When you use a VPN on a public Wi-Fi, all your data gets encrypted, and if any hacker tries to access your data, then he fails to read or access it.
Keep in mind to always double-check the name of public Wi-Fi before connecting to it. Sometimes, the hacker uses a similar name to let you connect to the wrong hotspot.
In this way, if you mistakenly connect to the wrong hotspot, the hacker can easily access all your information. Also, don’t forget to check your emails in incognito mode because as soon as you sign in to your Gmail account, your browser intends to save all types of passwords, cookies, and trackers. Therefore, always use an incognito mode to safely access email on a public Wi-Fi.
Reasons Why Gmail Security Needs your Attention
You must be very careful about your Gmail account’s security because Google holds most of your personal information. In case, if you missed out on any Gmail security measure, then you’ll be in trouble.
Your Gmail account has everything from your bank statement to personal pictures in Google photos. Not only that there’s much more stored in your Gmail account that also includes your files in Drive and Hangout chat logs.
If your Gmail security collapses, then someone can potentially access your Gmail account. Moreover, hackers can also access or sign in all your accounts since everything is sync with the Gmail account.
You definitely wouldn’t like anyone to snoop your personal information on Gmail, and therefore, it is imperative to secure your Gmail account. As a Gmail user, you’re required to understand some basic and non-technical measures to improve your Gmail security.
How to Protect Gmail Account
There are several ways you can ensure strong security for the account. Here’s how to secure Gmail account:
· Setup Unique Passwords
Users find it easy to use a single password for various accounts. This practice seems easy for the time being. But, as soon as your account gets hacked, the hacker tries to access other accounts with the same password.
Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use unique and different passwords for each account. Don’t forget to use a password manager to keep track of all your updated passwords.
· Gmail Encryption
If you don’t want anyone to read your personal emails, then the best way to protect emails is encryption. Enabling encryption will protect your emails; even Google will not be able to read encrypted emails.
To encrypt your emails, you can use Google supported encryption feature S/MIME or Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.
These extensions are only available for paid G Suite Enterprise or Education accounts. If you have a regular, free Gmail account, then this feature is not available to you.
· Turn on Two-Step Verification
Two-factor authentication or two-step verification is a process that strengthens your Gmail security. It means that whenever you sign in your Gmail account using a new device, then Google will send you a text message or a unique code on your phone to verify your Gmail access.
This will be an added step in your login process, but it ensures your Gmail protection against unauthorized access.
· Frequently Update your Operating System
To keep your email account secure, take care of your device’s security, and update your browser and operating system frequently. When you update your operating system, it reduces the hole for vulnerabilities, and no hacker found any space to exploit your system. Also, make sure to use best antivirus software to protect your devices from malware attacks and viruses.
· Keep an Eye on Gmail Activities
It is important to always keep a security check on your Gmail account. Therefore, don’t forget to check your Gmail activities to find if there’s any doubtful activity occurring. It will also help you to find if there’s any new device logged in. A lot of times, hackers access your Gmail account and steal information without even letting you know. Hence, check your Gmail account activities to make sure that your account hasn’t been hacked.
Following all the security measures mentioned above will mitigate your Gmail security risks. Also, keep a check on Google alerts, updates, and notifications to know how you can defend your account from upcoming vulnerabilities. Google offers incredible security features, so try to make the most of these features to make sure that your Gmail security is not on the verge of threats.