The three security principles in an information system are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. They are also known as the CIA triad and are essential to maintain the security of any computer system.
Gmail is an email service offered by Google and is an integrated part of the Google ecosystem. Even though Google takes care of their services, the user has the responsibility to take care of their account. The system-wide authentication allows any user to use any google service when logged in to the Google account. If the authentication details fall in the wrong hand or the account is not adequately secured, all three security principles are violated. This guide demonstrates several methods to secure a Google account and prevent unauthorized access. Using a desktop PC when following this tutorial is highly recommended as it’s convenient to follow this guide.
Solution 1: Use a Strong Password
Authenticating a user account with a username and password is a popular method in any information system. Gmail requires the user to enter the username and password when logging in to their Google account. If the password can be easily guessed, or if it is a simple one, the security of the Gmail account is at risk. Follow the following steps to set a secure password.
Solution 2: Use 2-Step Verification
2-Step Verification further improves the security of the Gmail account by adding an additional security layer to the authentication process. It requires the user to be authenticated with a passcode. The passcode can be obtained with several methods. Google prompt, authenticator app, voice or text message, and backup code are the available methods. Use the following methods to turn on 2-Step Verification with ease.
Solution 3: Use the Authenticator App
Authoritarian regimes and government agencies are known to hack the phone numbers of certain activists to gain access to their email accounts for political purposes. According to lucky225 – a security researcher, SMS messages can easily be intercepted with a simple hack. If a third-party user can gain access to the SMS of another user, a government agency can do much more than that. Therefore, it’s recommended to use the Authenticator App developed by Google to secure the account as it offers better overall protection against such malicious hijacking. This solution might not be essential for an average user as the threat level for them is relatively low. This app doesn’t work on non-smartphones, older Android/ iPhone devices and some mobile operating systems.
Solution 4: Use Google Security Check-up once in a while
Google Security check-up allows the user to inspect their Google account, including Gmail, for the security vulnerabilities, in a small list. The list is divided into five sections. When each section has no security vulnerabilities, a green mark appears in front of its title name. Use the following steps for the comprehensive guide.
Third-party access: It displays the third-party apps to which the Google account granted the access. It includes WhatsApp messenger, WordPress plugins, sign up with Google, and any Android app that uses Google Drive to store the backup. Click the Remove access button on each app to revoke their access to the Google account.