“I have a 5pm deadline and I can’t get the document I need from Gmail because I’m locked out!” Sound like a familiar scenario? Being unable to access your Gmail is likely to cause your work to come to a crawl or a complete stop in some cases. So how do you help ensure that your Gmail stays up and available, for as much as it depends on you? Securing your account with these 4 easy steps is a great start –
- Two-Factor Authentication – Something you have (i.e. your phone) and something you know (i.e. your password) is considered two factor authentication. The higher number of factors, the more secure your account will be. Setting up two factor authentication with Google is very simple. Google refers to this as 2-Step authentication. Follow this guide to setting up 2-Step Authentication on your Gmail account.
- Update and/or Add your Phone Number – Our phones continue to be more and more important in our every day lives. Ensure that your phone number is up to date. This allows Google to contact you in case you need a password reset or in case additional identifying information is needed. Follow this guide to ensuring your phone number is up to date.
- Backup Login Codes – After you establish 2-Step authentication, Google will provide you the option to print a list of 10 codes that can be used to login to your account in case you loose your phone. Print these codes and keep them in your wallet or purse. Read here for additional information on Backup Codes.
- Change your Password every 90 Days – Changing your password every 90 days is still an important practice if you want to keep your account secure. Set a calendar reminder to change your password every three months. This will help to ensure that you don’t forget and that any potential future data breach doesn’t impact your account.
Some people say that it would be nearly impossible for Google to experience a data breach similar to the breach that impacted over 500 million user accounts over at Yahoo. I disagree. I say if it’s Yahoo today, then it will quite possibly be Google tomorrow. Take steps today to protect your accounts!