How to keep your Gmail account safe from hackers

Nowadays, every online service is being linked to your email account or your phone number and this is what is giving hackers an access point to explore your secrets-if/when the user shows laxity in securing their respective accounts. Keeping aside mobile phone security, for now, let’s talk about email security.

Google mail or shortly called as Gmail has been one of the largest names in the industry for quite some time and official stats show that they are over 1.5 billion users and the count is still going on.

That means those using Gmail contribute to 20% of the entire world population which is around 7.7 billion for now. And more users means more security risks.

According to a study conducted by Keepnetlabs, around 90% of attacks that include phishing attacks, malware hits, and ransomware have emerged from email and more than half in the percentage were on Gmail accounts or conducted via Gmail accounts.

Now, the big question- How does the hacker get into a Gmail account?

1.) Firstly, most of the hacks are conducted by guessing or brute force your passwords. That means, cybercriminals tend to use automated software to guess passwords and the success rate of the password guessing depends on the complexity of the password.

2.) In some cases, the hacker exploits a security loophole in your file system which then gives access to all your secrets stored in your email account.

3.) Thirdly, cybercriminals may trick users in entering their login credentials into a fake page which looks and mimics the original in every way. Even Key-logger software can be used in exploiting a users email account.

So, how to keep your Gmail account safe in such scenarios

A.) Well, the foremost thing to do is to never fall prey to Phishing and Spoofing cyber attacks. This can be done by never revealing your PIN, email passwords, one time passwords or pin number or card details to hackers who try to fool you to provide personal details via email, text or through phone calls.

B.) Never download any attachments from suspicious senders- as such emails can contain ransomware which can block the data access on your PC or network until a ransom in Bitcoins or Monero is paid.

C.) These days, many websites like social media platforms, online stores, public discussion platforms are encouraging users to log in with their Facebook or Gmail credentials. This can become tricky if the website admin starts probing your account on a further note.

D.) Labeling the emails as Important and moving them to a different folder can help Google in filtering the emails. Marking the suspicious content as spam can also help Google servers identify malicious or spamming emails in a more effective way.

E.) Always use a password which is a mixture of alphabets, special characters, and numbers. This helps to keep your email account safe and makes it difficult for hackers to launch brute force attacks.

F.) Google, the Alphabet subsidiary already offers a service called “ Secure your account” where google service users can keep a tab on those devices and applications which have your access to your Gmail credentials. Reviewing these details once a month will help in keeping your account safe and secure from cyber crooks.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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