Thursday, December 27, 2012

5 Tips to Secure Gmail

These days Google accounts hold vital role in our day to day life. We use them to get registered at multiple websites, receive bank statements as well as to shop online. Especially Gmail is widely used in India.According to camscore reports.

Gmail usage in India
Credit :

However, very few of us use security enhancement options offered by Gmail. Thus, we leave opportunity for hackers to invade into our personal space. 

Here are 5 points that you must consider to make your Gmail secure.

1)Enable https://

Enabling https for gmail
Figure 1.1

On internet whenever you visit a website, its server communicates with your web browser using specific set of standards called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).In simple language can say that it is a language used by server and your web browser to talk to each other. However, this language can be sniffed and interpreted by hackers to see what is communicated between your web browser and the server.

 HTTPS means ‘HTTP + SSL’ (Hypertext Transfer Protocol + Secure Sockets Layer). HTTPS is used to ensure website’s identity and to encrypt communication between your web browser and the server. So, no one can read what your web browser and the server is communicating, thus making your credit card numbers and passwords secured.

To change settings of your Gmail account use ‘gear like’ button on top right corner of your Gmail screen. Look for Browser connection under General settings and select Always use https option.
enable https for gmail security
Figure 1.2

2) Enable 2-way verification

Very few of us are actually using this innovative feature offered by Google. It adds another security layer to Gmail sign in process by asking you to add a verification code for every sing in attempt. You can opt to receive this verification code either through a text message, a voice call or by using Google’s authentication app

Here is setup to enable 2-way verification for Gmail.

3) Track your account activity 

Gmail lets you track your activity and keep an eye on when , where and by using which device your Gmail account was last accessed! You can view these ‘Details’ from the Bottom right corner of your Gmail screen. 

view Gmail account activity
Figure 1.3
Often check this activity log to trace any suspicious happenings with your Gmail. Figure 1.4 shows the details.

4) Logging out from other Gmail sessions

Sometimes ease of accessing Gmail using your friend’s or relative’s laptop or desktop can expose it to various security threats if we forget to sign out properly. Make sure to use Gmail’s Sign out all other sessions button from activity log.

Sign out of all Gmail sessions
Figure 1.4

5) Due to vast availability of Wi-Fi hubs in public places like airports and hotels people are usually tempted to check mails. Your laptop or tablet’s data can be compromised by packet-sniffing software when accessed through such public hotspots. So, it is wise to avoid such temptation and not to use public wi-fi hotspots.

Apart from these five points primary precautions like using proper passwords by combining alphabets and numbers must be used. I hope this effort of mine will help you enhance security of Gmail.

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