So much of this goes without saying but all too often users forget and something goes horribly awry with their Google Account.
There’s good and bad in Google accounts. While it’s nice that there’s a common login for many Google Services (some you have to log into again after your initial login) this puts a lot of eggs into the one security basket.
If you think about it, Google has a lot of your data. This is something you really don’t want others to get their hands on.
Here are a couple of tips to help you keep your data and privacy where you want it.
1. Always sign out!
There’s a ‘Sign Out’ button on every one of Google’s Services pages. If you’re done, go ahead and sign out. This way no-one can come along to the computer after you and access all of your Google related information.
Closing up your browser doesn’t sign you out of your accounts.
2. Watch what you email
Would you write it in a letter? Would you Scribble it down and nail it to a telephone pole for all to see?
Think carefully when you send an email. Once it’s sent, that’s it.
You have less control over email than you do a physical email. It’s a lot easier to send an email and it happens a lot quicker too.
Once it leaves your email account, there’s no telling where it will go and who can pass it on to who. Forwarding is so very, very simple and a lot of people do it.
3. Is your browser secure?
Look in the address bar of your web browser. When you’re in your email, reader, calendar or documents (etc) does the address say “https://”? is there a picture of a padlock on your browser window? (Chrome has it in the address bar, Internet Explorer in the lower right of the window).
The HTTPS and the padlock picture tell you that you’re in a secure browsing session and that your browser data is being passed between you and the site you’re looking at securely.
4. Do you know what that attachment is?
Think about your mailbox. If you got a weird looking package that you weren’t expecting, would you open it? If you got a parcel from a friend who didn’t send one, would you open it?
The same goes for attachments in emails. Viruses, malware, spyware and more are easily passed in many forms of attachments and easily infect computers when executed.
I’m not saying not to open any attachments, just be careful what you open.
5. Do you have control over your account?
Do you have an alternate email address or SMS device set up should you forget or reset your password?
What if somehow your password were to reset or change, can you reset it or retrieve a new one?
Make sure your retrieval information is up to date with Google. Check your account page regularly.
Author: Andy Quayle
Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.
Should his schedule permit, Andy is available to help you with your SEO and Web Analytics needs.