It’s always a tragedy when one’s Gmail, or rather Google account, is hacked or lost due to improper sign-in behavior and have no sense in how to protect their accounts. This post will show you what you can do to make sure your Google account stay safe when you login from a public computer or anywhere else.
We will show you the common mistakes you shouldn’t be making when you login to Gmail and how you can better secure your account with security measures provided by Google.
Use your browser’s address bar correctly for Gmail.com Sign In
If you are here trying to access to Gmail.com, you are doing it wrong. I know folks like you and my parents will sometimes have difficulty in understanding technical things on the internet.
But, instead of typing a phrase like “Gmail.com login”, you should type only the URL address – gmail.com, onto your browser’s address bar and then press the Enter key. By doing this, your browser will bring you directly to the Gmail login page.
If you type a phrase instead, your browser will do a search and show you a search result with hundreds of selections which doesn’t guarantee to bring you to your destination. You will probably end up in some websites that are irrelevant to the subject. Some of these sites could be fake, or even worse, with malwares. If you already know the URL address of the site you want to go, just type the URL. Don’t add anymore words.
But luckily for you and us, this is a legit tech blog providing how-to guides. If you are here because of that, stay a little longer and learn something important from us.
Enable Google’s 2-Step Verification sign-in method for Gmail.com Login
This is probably the best and a must measure for everyone who value their Gmail account. When 2-Step verification is enabled, whenever you login to your Google account, Google will send a piece of code via SMS to your mobile phone. You will need to enter this code along with your Google account’s password in order to complete the sign-in.
If someone want to hack your account, even if they are able to somehow obtain your password, they can’t login to your account without the verification code which can only be received via your phone. Unless, of course, if they can physically approach to your mobile phone, they can still hack into your account. But I don’t think you would share your phone with anyone right?
So, here’s how to enable Google’s 2-Step verification for your account.
- Go to Google.com. Sign in to your Google account.
- On the top right corner, click on your portrait and then click on My account.
- Click on Sign-in & Security.
- Under Password & sign-in method, click on 2-step verification.
- Enter your password again.
- Click Turn On for 2-step verification.
- Add a phone number which you would like to receive the code from.
- Follow the on-screen instruction to complete the process.
- Once it’s verified, the next time you login to your Google account, a code that will be sent to your phone will be needed for the sign-in.
If you do not already have 2-step verification enabled for your Google account, do it now.
Use Incognito Mode to login into my Gmail account now
Incognito mode is a mode that leaves no traces of what you did and will not save any cache, cookies or history when you browse. So, if you are to sign in to Google on a computer that doesn’t belong to you, use incognito mode to safely visit gmail.com. They won’t even know you have been to Gmail.
To start browser in incognito mode / private mode:
- In Google chrome, press CTRL – Shift – N.
- In Mozilla Firefox, press CTRL – Shift – P.
- In Microsoft Edge, go to the More (triple dotted icon) at the top right corner in Edge. Select New InPrivate Window.
Uncheck the “Stay signed in” option when you log into your Gmail account
When you sign in to Google Account, upon entering password, there will be a checkbox that reads Stay signed in. If it’s selected when you sign in to Google, the next time this computer starts and when you access to Google again, you will automatically be signed in.
Yes, it sounds great and convenient because you don’t have to enter your username and password again. But, imagine if this is done in a computer which other people can use, such as those in the pub, airport, cafe, office or college. That would absolutely be a nightmare. The next person who access to Gmail on that particular computer will have access to your account since it’s already signed in.
Therefore, do not enable “stay signed in” when you sign in to your Gmail on a computer you have no control over. If you’ve accidentally checked the option, log out immediately and sign in again without it being enabled.
If you just remember that you did a sign-in like that on a public computer, you can force your Google account to sign out from all devices. Here’s how to do it.
- Sign in to Google.com.
- Go to My account > Sign-in & Security.
- Scroll down until you see Device activity & security events.
- Under Recently used device, click on Review devices.
- Choose the device which you would want your Google account to sign out from, then click Remove.
- This will force your account to sign out from that particular device.
Provide Google with your info for Gmail account recovery
If you haven’t already done so, you should head over to the Sign-in & Security setting and provide Google with your secondary email address, your phone and a security question and answer.
If your account is hacked, lost, or you simply have forgotten your account’s password, these are the info Google will use to verify your identity.