The Next Step in Google Account Security Settings
Category : Cyber Security
As you may be aware that October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM). In this year 2019, NCSAM is emphasizing on personal accountability and stress the importance of taking proactive steps to enhance cybersecurity at home and in the workplace. As a contribution to this initiative, I would like to share few focus areas you would be required to check in your Google Account after performing basic security settings (such as updating recovery phone number and recovery email).
Before reading below you have to understand what Google Account is. It is a user account with a username and password you used to access consumer products like Gmail, AdSense, YouTube, Docs etc. Alternatively, if you have any of these products, you have a Google account.
1. Third-party apps with Google Account access
You would have gone through situations like “Sign-in with Google Account” for quick sign up for any third-party apps or websites. It’s here Apps with access to your account page where you see all such apps and websites you did sign up in this way. Basically, in this process, you are sharing some sort of your account information and permissions such as:
- See basic profile information
- Modify account information
- Edit, upload & create content in your Google Account
It is possible for these apps to have full access to your account. But don’t worry, these third-party apps can’t change your password, delete your account, or use Google Pay to send, request and receive money. But it could impersonate you if any malicious apps have access to your account by modifying your account information. So, revoke their access if you think any app or website is suspicious.
Read more here – Third-party sites & apps with access to your account
2. Devices that have used your account
It’s here Your devices page you see all such devices that is currently accessing your account and used to access your account. If you find any device you no longer use, use the sign out option to revoke their access. Incase, if you find any unknown device accessing your account, immediately use the sign out option for that device and change password. There is a high chance that someone got your password. Also do not forget to recheck recovery option, the hacker might have changed that too.
Read more here – See devices that have used your account
3. Less secure app access
If you use email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird etc. this option would have turned on. If this option is turned on, you are less secure and it can make hackers to get in to your account easily. You can find this setting at Less secure app access page.
Less secure apps basically mean the apps that use insecure communication protocol (OAuth) for authentication and authorization. It is always recommended to use latest apps which support latest OAuth 2.0 and turn off “less secure app access” option
4. Password manager
You can see the passwords that you save in your Google account here. The Password Checkup tool help you to check the security of your passwords. The Password Checkup tool generate 3 types of report indicating:
- Whether your password is compromised or not by checking list of data breach information directories
- Whether your passwords are reused or not
- Whether your password is weak or not
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