4 Essential Google Account Settings to Change for Better Security
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

From emails and documents to photos and notes—your Google account is your personal stash of important data. Have you done what you can to protect it from digital mishaps and malice?

At the very least, make these four basic changes from your Google Account page to protect your account and keep it easy to recover if the need arises.

1. Add a Recovery Email Address and Phone Number

Display of recovery email and phone number in Google account

If you ever get locked out of your Google account, having a backup phone number or email address on record can save the day for you. To stay on the safer side, it’s best to add both these details, and Google prompts you from time to time to do so when you open your account settings. (Security questions are no longer a part of Google’s account setup.)

If you don’t have your latest contact details saved with Google, here’s how you can update them:

  1. In your Google account, click on Security in the sidebar to access security settings.
  2. In the Ways we can verify it’s you section, click on the Recovery phone and the Recovery email options one by one to add new information. Ensure that your recovery email address is different from the Gmail address associated with the account whose settings you’re updating. It’s best to go with a non-Gmail address.

You can also update your contact details from the Personal info page (it’s accessible from the sidebar). Here, you’ll also see other email addresses connected to your account. Google might ask you for one of these addresses during the recovery process if the usual methods haven’t worked.

Emails connected to Google account

Your recovery email and phone number ensure that you can get into your Google account even if you can’t remember your password and/or email address. But, to account for a scenario where these methods somehow fail, it’s a good idea to copy out these two pieces of information that Google could ask you for during account recovery:

2. Set Up Two-Step Verification

Add phone number during 2FA setup for Google account

When you enable two-step verification, you protect your Google account with a second barrier. Your account is then accessible only with a combination of your password and a dynamic, time-based numerical code. This is a form of Two-Factor Authentication or 2FA The Pros and Cons of Two-Factor Authentication Types and Methods The Pros and Cons of Two-Factor Authentication Types and Methods Two-factor authentication methods are not created equal. Some are demonstrably safer and more secure. Here's a look at the most common methods and which ones best meet your individual needs. Read More .

To start setting up this extra security measure:

  1. Visit the Security page from the sidebar.
  2. Under the Signing in to Google section, click on 2-Step Verification.
  3. On the next screen, click on the Get Started button.

At this point, Google asks you to enter a valid phone number on which you can receive one-time codes. You can choose to get them via SMS or via a voice message. Take your pick and then click on the Next link.

On the next screen, type in the six-digit code you received from Google on your phone and once again click on Next. Proceed to enable 2FA by clicking on the Turn on link that shows up.

You’ll then see a handful of alternative options you can use as a second step if, say, your phone isn’t available or if you’d prefer a safer/easier option. A physical security key is your safest choice.

Whether you go with that or prefer to stick with SMSes or dedicated authenticator apps, ensure that you don’t miss this next step: printing backup codes.

Print Backup Codes

Backup codes section when 2FA is enabled for Google account

There’ll be times when you don’t have access to any of your usual methods of generating one-time verification codes. Maybe you’ve lost your phone or it’s offline. Perhaps your authenticator app is malfunctioning.

Whatever the issue, it doesn’t have to limit your access to your Google account. If you have backup codes ready, you’re good to go: Here’s how to get them:

  1. If you aren’t on the 2-Step Verification screen already, access it via Security > Signing in to Google.
  2. Click on the Set Up link under Backup codes.
  3. Save the 10 backup codes generated by Google. You can print them to a PDF, download them as a text file, or paste them into a secure note in your password manager. Each of these codes are good for a single use.

If you’ve already generated a set of codes once, but didn’t save them back then, follow the same steps as above. (Keep in mind that you’ll see a Show Codes link instead of a Set Up link in the Backup codes section.)

3. Control What You Share on Google

Hide personal details via Google account settings

Information thieves can use personal details to steal your identity 10 Pieces of Information That Are Used to Steal Your Identity 10 Pieces of Information That Are Used to Steal Your Identity Identity theft can be costly. Here are the 10 pieces of information you need to protect so your identity isn't stolen. Read More . That’s why it’s imperative to protect data such as your date and place of birth, phone number, email address, physical address, and so on.

If such data is a part of your Google account, you can control who sees it from the Control what people see about you page. Visit this page by clicking on People & sharing > Choose what others see in your Google account.

Here, scan the page to pinpoint bits of information that have either a Visible label or a globe icon. These markers show that the corresponding data is visible to anyone who interacts with you, meaning that it’s public. Click on them one by one to mark the data as Hidden. You also have the option to select the label Your Organization, which ensures that only your team members can see that data.

4. Revoke Access From Third-Party Apps You Don’t Use

Revoke app access from Google account

You might be using your Google account to log in to third-party apps. Or, you might’ve granted such an app permission to, say, view and change your Google calendar. It’s best to ensure that only the apps you trust and use have access to your Google account. As for the rest, we recommend revoking their privileges.

To do so, access the Apps with access to your account page. You can get there in a couple of ways via the Security page:

  1. Click on the Manage third-party access link under Third-party apps with account access, or
  2. Click on Signing in with Google under Signing in to other sites.

Now, on the next screen, you’ll see all external apps that have access to some aspect of your Google account. Click on each app to see which parts of your Google account it can view and edit. If you’re not happy with what you see, click on the Remove Access button to disconnect the app from your account.

This process does not actually delete your account with the third-party app. It only keeps the account inaccessible until you reconnect your Google account. For true deletion, you’ll have to delete the account for the relevant app before revoking access to the app from your Google account.

Protect Your Google Account

Getting locked out of an important online account (or losing its data) can be a worrisome experience. And when that account happens to be your Google account, it can cause utter panic. Pre-empt that situation by securing your account with the above changes.

You can then move on to personalizing and improving your Google experience. To get started with that, change your Google profile picture How to Change Your Google Profile Picture How to Change Your Google Profile Picture Even if you don't use Google Plus, it's still important to get right because this is the profile image that'll be visible on Gmail, Google Calendar, and any other Google service. Read More .

Explore more about: Cloud Security, Email Security, Google, Online Privacy.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jeffrey Grinder
    August 3, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    This is understandable and that's why it is vital that you happen to be thorough in gaining information about the kind of bike to acquire. Many new models for Jonway scooters are also available in design along with the quality of the Jonway scooter is very interesting. Then in 1790, the Frenchman made the very first bicycle from wood, that do not effectively have pedals, to ensure that had to be pushed on the ground.

  2. Helen Altamirano
    August 3, 2019 at 1:16 am

    What's up to every , since I am in fact keen of reading this weblog's post to be updated on a regular basis. It includes good stuff.

  3. Jamal Sims
    August 3, 2019 at 12:51 am

    all the time i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading here.

  4. Broderick Carney
    August 3, 2019 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about visit us online. Regards

  5. Robin Beard
    August 2, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    Hi there to every body, it's my first go to see of this weblog; this webpage includes amazing and genuinely excellent stuff in favor of visitors.

  6. Chris Hamer
    August 2, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Scooters, in many countries, have special lanes which prove it better for users to flee the congestion on main roads. Many new models for Jonway scooters are also available in design as well as the company's Jonway scooter is highly interesting. While the Karizma will work for its 223cc single cylinder, air cooled, four stroke engine which produces optimum power of 17bhp at 7000rpm and it is beefy .

  7. Denis Burley
    July 28, 2019 at 8:20 pm

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information? Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  8. Jane Mccallister
    July 28, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    This is a very good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate information? Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  9. Faustino Drennen
    July 28, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    I've been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am glad to exhibit that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  10. Olivia Whinham
    July 28, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I've been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am glad to exhibit that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  11. Randi Lamington
    July 28, 2019 at 7:32 pm

    I've been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this site. Reading this info So i am glad to exhibit that I have an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot for sure will make certain to do not forget this site and give it a look regularly.

  12. Spencer Kraegen
    July 28, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info? Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

  13. Paulina Dunn
    July 28, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I will provde the reasons for how you needs to be considering earning money online. Always tell yourself that you want to have success online business and you also have to have discipline in terms of following a training and schedule of the work industriously. Everywhere whenever you move the globe the truth is the marketplace of sales surrounding you that's promoted using the help of liquidation banners.

  14. Adeline Swanson
    July 28, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Word Press also has numerous "plugins" so that you can download and lots of choices free. If you have been injured on the job, you do have a to certainly receive benefits to be able to proceed along with your life and obtain back on the feet. Men and some women of all ages are finding themselves seduced by collectibles, and then lose interest in a period of years.

  15. dragonmouth
    July 26, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    "3. Control What You Share on Google"
    I'd rather control what I share WITH Google. Unfortunately, that will never happen since Google wants to know ALL.

    • David
      August 3, 2019 at 8:34 am

      Agreed! And Google now seems to be a long way off from the helpful and useful fresh-faced newcomer with the hopeful motto "do no evil"!..

      And who has been adding all these garbage comments in broken English? Can't you clean up your own website??

      • Noneya Biznez
        August 9, 2019 at 2:51 pm

        The ultimate protection is to steer clear of Google and all of the other traitors at all times. No exceptions.

  16. Sandra
    July 26, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Thank you for the tips!
    Speaking of diabetes app, I am using BolusControl (android APP) on a daily basis.
    It allows type1 diabetics to quickly control whether the correct bolus has been made after a meal.
    If not, the app show you how much correction is needed (either insulin or sugar).
    Simple but how effective !