Google has had some problems with its password protection protocols during the last couple of years or more. First there was a significant and highly sophisticated intrusion incident that occurred in 2010, shortly after the search giant announced that it would no longer censor search results in the Republic of China. Then, in June of 2011 a second major hack attack occurred against the Gmail email system, again, suspected to have been caused by well-connected Chinese hackers who used phishing tricks in a largely successful effort at getting numerous Google account users to hand over their own passwords.
Finally, as far as major incidents are concerned, Google was yet again attacked in the summer of 2012 by a murky internet hacker group calling itself D33Ds Company using methods similar to those of the 2011 intrusions.
In both of these latter cases, the attacks were aimed against Gmail and in many cases were successful not so much due to lax security on Google’s part but more so due to holes in the way users secured their passwords, hole found partly thanks to weak protocols around Yahoo! Email accounts.
In addition to these major breaches, numerous other smaller intrusions have occurred against the search engines data or storage services and these attacks include a late 2012 DNS poisoning of the Google Pakistan and Google Romania subpages; as well as a rather comical attack on the Skype account of chief Google SEO architect Matt Cutts; something not directly related to Google security but nonetheless worth commenting on.
The biggest problem behind all of these security issues –all of which, to the search engine’s credit, were quickly patched and reinforced with additional security – is that Google has become so deeply important to so many of us as a supposedly secure and highly trusted provider of data storage services and important other online tools, and to a degree far deeper than is the case with accounts with competitors like Yahoo and Microsoft.
A Google account can cover and grant access to diverse systems and platforms; services as diverse as Gmail email profiles, the Adwords PPC program, Google Drive cloud storage services, Google+ social networking accounts system, Chrome Browser, YouTube service etc. Because of this vast array of important tools and crucial data storage points, you really need to make sure your Google account is secure if you use it a lot.
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It’s not that Google itself doesn’t take its own security seriously; they do and they offer all sorts of options for keeping your account much better protected –the real problem in the majority of cases is that users themselves get lazy about applying these tools, or even worse, don’t do even more basic things like keeping a strong password that isn’t the same as it is for every other account.
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Two Factor Authentication System:
As we said, the search giant itself has been taking account access security seriously since at least 2010, and offered tools to that effect to anyone interested; unfortunately, the majority of people who later get hacked are not.
The main access security feature of all Google accounts is the company’s two factor authentication option. This is a voluntary measure that you can take which will dramatically boost the protective security of your account log in. You can also check how to keep your Gmail Account safe in iPhone.
To turn it on, simply visit the Google Two Factor set-up verification page. Set the country you live in, follow the sequential steps by giving over your mobile phone number, a backup phone number that can be used if your primary mobile device gets lost or stolen and you’re good to go. Either Google or yourself can set the security code that is sent to your mobile device, and any time you try to log into your account from an unrecognized, preauthorized device, you will be sent a security prompt via text message, this will have to accompany your regular password in order for you to be allowed into your account.
With this done, you have just increased your Google account security dramatically and made Google happier, since you’re now following through on the security machinery they ‘ve been offering for years.
Keeping your Google Account Hack Resistant:
However, although Two Factor Authentication is wonderful, it’s not the only thing you can do to strengthen how robustly secure your Google account is. You also need to follow through with at least the first of the following additional options:
Don’t settle for passwords like “doggie” or your birthday, pets name or the city you came from; none of those things are particularly secure. Instead, go for long strings of random characters with variations of letters, numbers, capitalization and even symbol characters like #$%&. If you think these combinations are hard to remember, derive them from acronyms that you’ll more easily remember ie: I grabbed a Mcdonald’s cheeseburger #5 combo on July 13th 2012 and turn that into the following password: IgaMc#5coJ132012; this is much stronger than “doggie”. If you are unsure how to create a strong password, you can check our article on how to create strong password to make your net stuff safe.
You can also use pass phrases instead. These are strings of words formed into a sentence or phrase. Ideally though, for added security, make sure that your pass phrases are not something commonly said or even very logical. You should aim for stringing random words together nonsensically. If you want to create password automatically, you can visit strong password generator website. It is a very helpful website. You just add some informations. Then it will generate a new pasword automatically.
Also, as a final tip, keep your passwords or phrases long; at least 10 characters long and ideally something closer to 20 characters. This may seem like overkill, but if your Google drive/Gmail account is loaded with years’ worth of business information, you really won’t think it was too much effort to remember a long password after you get hacked and all that data is lost.
A Few Other Important Tips To Secure Google Account:
Some additional security boosters that you can also add to your Google account protection include enabling HTTPS, which will give you more secure, encrypted email browsing, and also making sure that you never leave your accounts signed in on a machine that is not your own and exclusively used by you.
HTTPS can be enabled quickly and easily in your Gmail account by opening the little gear on the right hand side, scrolling to settings and ticking off “always use https” under “browser connection”.
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