You will be in unimaginable troubles if someone hacks into your Google/Gmail account. Protect your Gmail account, and your sanity. Follow the security measures listed below.

Why Your Gmail Password is Highly Valuable

Most probably, you manage all your contacts through Gmail. You have emails from your friends, family, colleagues and business contacts – saved in your Gmail contacts.

In addition, you also use a host of Google services, like:

  • Google Plus
  • Blogger
  • Youtube
  • G Drive
  • Calendar
  • Adwords/Adsense
  • Analytics,
  • Web Master Tools and More

In short, a Google account is utterly important for your survival online. If someone can get access to your password, he/she can post very bad comments about your friends, your family, your company and your community – from your Google Plus profile.

If you have a very popular blog, the hacker can post content that damages your reputation.

And, from the Gmail, the hacker can send malicious messages to everyone in your contacts list.

The hacker can reach all the files you have saved in your Google Drive.

If someone hacks into your account, your online reputation and sanity is at risk. This is why you need to protect your Gmail/Google account. Protect your account like a precious jewel.

First Line of Protection – Enable Two-Step Verification

Enable two-step verification. If you haven’t activated it, do it now.

Click here:

Click on the ‘Settings‘ button just below the option for 2-step verification. You will be prompted to enter your cell phone number. Google will send you a security code to your phone. Verify your number by entering the code.

After doing this, go to the bottom of the page, where you can instruct Google to send you a verification code every time you log into your Google account.

Click on the link that reads: “Require a verification code the next time I log in from any other computer.”

Whenever you sign into your account from a different machine, you will receive the security code in your mobile phone. Enter the code into the box to complete your login.

This will protect you against much of the attacks. If someone learns your password and logs into your account from a different computer, you will instantly get a text message from Google. You can then log into your account and change your password, if needed.

Application Specific Passwords

If you access Gmail via a POP3 reader like Evolution or Outlook, you will need to generate Application Specific Passwords. You can do it from the same page. One password works for a specific Application (like Evolution, G-talk, etc).

This is system generated password and you don’t have to remember the password.

How to Choose a Strong Password

You can make very strong passwords from simple words and figures. Take this example:

Lolita 9095 (Lolita is a common password, so, don’t use it).

We will change the word a bit to convert it into a password.

Change the letter and number combination this way:

L – l, o – 0 (zero), l – L, i – !, t – t, a – @, 9 – (, 0 (zero) – O (letter O), 9 – 9, and 5 – 5.

The password will be: l0L!t@(O95

The beauty is you can remember the word and letter combination. You have modified the letters and numbers. If you can remember the word and the letter combination, you can easily enter the password. The password looks complex. Below that complexity is a simple word and a number combination that you can easily remember.

Here, we changed the letter O to number 0 (zero) and vice versa. The letter ‘i’ converted to ‘!’ and a to ‘@’, making the password strong and secure.

Unique Password for Every Online Account

You can make this password even more secure. For example, you can use the same password everywhere – with a twist.

Gmail password can be gM@!Ll0L!t@(O95
Yahoo password: y@h)0l0L!t@(O95
Paypal password: pPl0L!t@(O95

That is, you prefix your password with the name of the service. You prefix your master password with modified names of the service. This way, you have a unique password for every one of your online accounts. You can remember them all by remembering your original, strong password.

Tip: Don’t use the password mentioned above. That is a bad password now. It is published in the internet. Get a new one. I’m sorry if you have used exactly the same password above. After all, others too have guessed it.

It looks complex. But, it is not.

Keep Your Password Recovery Options Safe

While asking security questions, never give easy to guess answers – like mother’s maiden name. At least, not the correct answer. Make up a name. And use it as the security answer. Others will not guess it, however hard they try.

If you turn off the two-step verification process, uses an easy to guess security question, or use your girlfriend’s name as password, keep in mind you are leaving the key to your house in plain sight. Don’t come crying if someone takes the key, opens the doors and loot everything you have in your house.