How to secure your Google account

Step 1: Check for viruses and malware

Secure your passwords
Follow these steps more frequently if you begin to notice suspicious behavior, like general slowness and pop-up ads. General security information Security notifications Policies by product Make your account more secure Prevent phishing with Password Alert Sign in on a device that's not yours Find, lock, or erase your lost phone or computer When Google might send you a text Use Google Smart Lock Help protect against harmful apps with Google Play Protect Increase security for your Google Account Common questions with Advanced Protection. The list will not only show what the app or device is, but exactly what it has access to. Join , subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Access settings by clicking your name or picture in the right corner, then clicking Account. Of course, you also need to make sure these accounts are well-protected and secure, or someone could use them to force a password reset on your Google account.

Use a Strong Password and 2-Step Verification

Popular Topics

You can add an extra layer of security to your Google Account by enabling 2-step verification. If you have 2-step verification turned on, Google will send a passcode to your mobile phone when someone tries to sign into your account from an unfamiliar computer.

Now you can protect yourself with something you know your password and something you have your phone. Access your settings by clicking your name or picture in the right corner then clicking Account. At the top, click Security. You will then see a step-by-step guide which will help you through the setup process. Review your settings and add backup phone numbers. You can use Incognito Mode in the Chrome browser on your computer, tablet, or phone to browse the web privately.

A new window will open with the incognito icon in the corner. To exit, simply close the window. On your Account settings page, you can see services and information associated with your Google Account and change your security and privacy settings.

Access settings by clicking your name or picture in the right corner, then clicking Account. Me on the Web can help you understand and manage what people see when they search for you on Google.

It helps you set up Google Alerts so you can monitor if information about you appears online, and it automatically suggests some search terms you may want to keep an eye on. Click Manage my Web Alerts, and then click the red button to create an alert. Your name will show up in the text field. Click the text field to view more suggested alerts. Click Add to add an alert. Click the pencil icon to make edits, and the trash can icon to delete. Google Dashboard shows you what's stored in your Google Account and provides an overview of some of your recent account activity.

Visit Dashboard to see a summary of the data associated with your Google Account and manage your personal settings. Safety Center Skip to content. Manage your privacy and security Prevent cybercrime. Keep your stuff secure and private. Topics Introduction Secure your passwords Signing in and out Managing multiple accounts Check forwarding settings, recovery options, and unusual activity in Gmail Use secure networks Lock your screen or device Keep your device clean Online shopping safety Is Google Calling or is it a Scam?

Secure your passwords Twitter Facebook Email Passwords are the first line of defense against cyber criminals. Use a unique password for each of your important accounts like email and online banking Choosing the same password for each of your online accounts is like using the same key to lock your home, car and office — if a criminal gains access to one, all of them are compromised.

Try using a phrase that only you know One idea is to think of a phrase that only you know, and make it be related to a particular website to help you remember it. Safety tools Discover the Top 5 Google online safety features designed to help you keep your family safe online.

Click the Signing into Google link, and you can configure two-step verification, as well as changing your password and security questions if you need to.

Google will take you through its own security check-up if you want to bolster your account security. Whatever else you do to protect your account, the usual advice about choosing a strong password still applies. Make it at least 10 characters long; a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols; and ensure it's as difficult to guess as possible. Don't reuse passwords either: Choose a code that's specific to your Google account so a data hack of a different account won't compromise your Google account as well.

While you're adjusting your security settings, double-check your recovery email and phone number options too. These will help you regain access if you ever find yourself locked out of your account. Of course, you also need to make sure these accounts are well-protected and secure, or someone could use them to force a password reset on your Google account. Between your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and work computer, you probably access your Google account on several devices.

On the other hand, if a computer halfway across the world is logged into your account, that's a red flag that something shady is going on. So Google lets you check on the devices that are using your account. This tells Google how you want to be notified if a new computer or mobile device accesses your account. You can set it up to receive immediate alerts about suspicious activity, which can make all the difference in keeping your accounts protected.

If you see something in the list you don't recognize or that you haven't used for a long time, select it and click Remove. Don't worry about being overly cautious, because you can always sign back in on those devices if you need to. The security page is not the only place you can find a screen like this. There's also a link at the bottom of your Gmail inbox that tells you where else your account is being used.

Click on the Details link in Gmail, and you can sign out of all the other currently active sessions on the list. While these apps can be useful for improving your Gmail experience , the fewer you have connected, the better from a security standpoint. So get rid of any apps that you don't use regularly or haven't used in a long time.

If you have an Android phone, your Google account is tied pretty tightly to it, so it's important to review your security settings here too. Whatever type of phone you have, you should be putting up barriers via its lock screen. But on Android phones, you can find some extra security settings specific to your Google account.

From the Settings app, tap Google then Security. You'll see some of the same options we've mentioned above, as well as a few extra ones. You can, for example, turn on the feature that lets you remotely locate your phone from a computer, which can come in very handy if someone else gets hold of it.

We'd also advise turning the Verify apps feature on, as this monitors for suspicious activity in the apps you've installed on your device. If you go to Settings then Security, you can turn on an Android feature called Smart Lock, which lets you specify certain places where the lock screen is disabled.

That way you don't have to bother with a password when you're in the safety of your own home. You can also set up your phone to be used in place of a password on a Chromebook —perhaps a glimpse of the password-free future we can all look forward to. Once someone gets into your phone, apps like Gmail and Chrome are wide open, so it's important to have a lengthy PIN code or fingerprint protection in place to stop that from happening.

Start with a Security Checkup