Google was founded in 1998 in the garage of Susan Wojcicki (current CEO of YouTube) and since then it has not stopped growing and covering territory on the Internet. Today the company is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and it is among the most important in the world.
One of the reasons for its considerable value is that it bundles together many other platforms and applications. Which share among other things a unique username and password. In other words, with a single credential you can access different services.
For this reason, it is vitally important to maintain the security of our login details. Bearing this in mind, we recommend that you read this post and thus keep your Google account safe.
What are the main risks of our Google account being hacked?
If we face the misfortune that our Google account suffered a pirate attack, it poses a serious threat to privacy. Let’s see some examples, what the perpetrator would have access to:
- Maps. Through this tool you can find the location of our house, workplace, places visited and roads traveled.
- Chrome. Bookmarks, Favorite Pages, saved passwords and other forms.
- Youtube. I could enter the personal videos, even those that are private or have not been published.
- Google Photos. All photos found in the phone gallery can viewed from this application.
- Contacts. You will have access to all the people registered on the mobile. Taking into account that the SIM card is no longer used as a storage place for them, it would represent all the contacts.
- Calendar. If you actively use this tool, the hacker could know what your next activities.
- Drive. The files stored in the Google cloud will be available to the criminal.
- Android. If he is an expert, he could take control of your phone. Calls, messages, microphone and even cameras can be used for him.
- Gmail. One of the most serious problems if we use this platform as the main email. This means that thanks to the “password recovery” tools that many sites offer, you will be able to access them. That is, you would have access to Facebook, Instagram, other emails, accounts Credit cards (although they usually use additional security systems), and many others.
Steps to protect your Google account and avoid being the victim of an account hack or theft
Luckily, we have several tools and cares that will help us to protect our account. It is advisable to use all the recommendations that we will provide you below:
Put a strong password
Forget about using your birthday or 123456! A strong password, must contain words, numbers, symbols and toggle between upper and lower case. It may seem difficult to remember later, but try two memorable words, with numbers in between. For example, something you have in front of your computer: “Monitor963.Keyboard”
Activate the screen lock
Remember to always have this option activated, on your mobile how you share it with other people on your computer. Make sure to minimize the amount of time the screen stays on.
The least secure ways to lock are swipe screen and pattern. If your smartphone has a fingerprint reader or iris scanner, use it. A password can also work, as long as it is strong.
Synchronize the account with the mobile
If someone unauthorized tries or accesses your account, for example, from email, you will know immediately. And you can react and even block the attack with the warning options. If this has happened to you, we recommend that you update your password and add more security barriers.
Activate two-step verification
If you are one of those who use the same pass in all the sites where you register, or usually download programs from the Internet, it is extremely important that you activate this. With this method, the system will communicate with you via mobile, every time you access your account from another device. Said message will contain a second passkey. It also allows the use of digital security keys.
To activate this tool:
- Go to your account (at the top of the Google home page).
- In your profile picture, select “Manage your Google account.”
- In the section of “Log into Google” active “Two-step verification.”
- In the new window, choose “Start”.
- Enter your current password.
- Indicate which mobile device you use.
- Press “Try now.”
- Google will send a test notification to your smartphone.
- Confirm your phone number and how you will receive the code.
Use phone to login
There is an option that allows access to Google applications through mobile. With this method, you can skip entering the password. That is, every time you try to enter your account, the system will send you a notification. To which you must respond “Yes” In case you’re the one trying Y “No” otherwise.
To activate this option:
- Enter the Google account management, as we saw in the previous section.
- Login to “Use phone to log in.”
- Enter your password and indicate which is the paired device you will use.
- Finally, the system will do a small test as a demonstration. If the notification successfully reaches your phone press “Yes” and you will have this new security barrier.
Protect your computer against keyloggers and malware
You can find the best methods to protect yourself from these attacks in Internet Step by Step.
But we can say that the right way to avoid or repel these malicious softwares is to have a powerful antivirus. If it is within your possibilities, the payment ones offer great tools. However, there are others that are free and that have the basic but sufficient weapons to eliminate these threats. The most important thing is to keep them updated and not create exceptions that could harm our equipment and security.
Keep the browser updated
There is no perfect browser. Failures can occur in any system. That is why the developer companies update the versions of these programs. These imperfections can weaken the security of each one of them, allowing the risk of entry of some malware.
Fortunately, the main web browsing companies have equipment that they review and correct codes for faults. If you have disabled the automatic update option, your data and equipment may be at risk.
Activate security alerts
They are the notifications that reach your mailbox and mobile device when someone tries to access your account. In the event that that person is you, it will not be more than a simple warning. But in the case of a criminal, this can make a big difference. Knowing in real time the activity of your account you will be able to act more effectively to take the appropriate measures.
Remove browser extensions that you don’t use
It is true that since the extensions exist, if we need a tool it is not necessary to download the programs to the computer. It is also true that some of us use them for a short time and then they are forgotten in the navigation bar.
Said extensions need permissions and access to certain data in order to function correctly. The problem is that if you are dealing with an untrustworthy developer, these tools can be sold to third parties at great risk. Above all, because it is difficult for antivirus to detect such threats. If you don’t want to take risks with your browser, read below.
Don’t install extensions from untrustworthy sources
The most important thing is not to do it from anywhere other than the Chrome web store. Never install extensions from other sites.
Second, we must pay attention to the data it offers about its developer. Inside the mentioned store we can see the age of the extension. It is less likely than one that has been around for many years with certain risks. Make sure they contain real data of the team that created it.
To continue, we must read the privacy policies. Terms like “Track”, “data”, “Sell” they can be red flags. At the same time, you must attend to the permissions requested at the time of installation. These must match the function of that tool. That is, if it is a screen capturer, it should not try to access, read and modify data from the visited websites.
Finally, read the comments. Lean on the experience of other users on each extension. This will give you a better overview to decide whether to install it or not.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉