Gmail is the most popular free email service used by millions of people around the world. Billions of messages are sent and received through Google’s email software every day. Many of these messages contain personal or confidential information.

Unfortunately, malicious hacker attacks, phishing attacks, and password leaks are also becoming more common. To prevent your personal email from falling into the hands of others, you need to protect your Gmail account.

1. Open Your Google Account Settings

  • Navigate to Gmail and click on your profile picture at the top right of the page, which will open the Google menu. From there, select Manage your Google Account. When you signed up to Gmail, Google also created a single account for you to access all of their services. This is known as your Google Account.
  • Each service has its own settings and options, but critical information like your password, two-factor authentication, and other personal details are managed through your Google account. On the left menu, select Security.

2. Resolve Security Issues

  • As part of an effort to help secure your account, Google offers security recommendations. If there are outstanding issues, these will be listed at the top of your account’s Security page. Even if there are no suggestions, click Secure account at the bottom of the Security issues found section.

3. Update Password and Two-Factor Authentication

  • Back at your Google account’s Security page, there is an overview titled Signing in to Google. Here you can see when your password was last changed, and whether you have enabled two-factor authentication. It is good practice to change your password for a stronger one, especially if you reuse passwords.
  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds a step to the login process. After entering your username and password, you’ll be asked to enter a temporary code. This is used to ensure that it is you signing in, and not just someone with your credentials.

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