Step-by-step How to au­dit and se­cure your Google ac­count

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - EXPLORE -

1 Log into your ac­count

After per­form­ing man­ual scans with your se­cu­rity soft­ware, open your web browser and head over to https://ac­count.google. com to log into your Google ac­count. If you get a cookie mis­match er­ror, open your browser’s pri­vacy and se­cu­rity set­tings and add ‘google.com’ to the list of al­lowed ex­cep­tions, then try again. En­ter your user­name and pass­word to log on.

2 Per­form a se­cu­rity au­dit

You’ll see your ac­count set­tings are split into three sec­tions – let’s start with ‘Sign-in & se­cu­rity’. Scroll down the page and click Get Started un­der Se­cu­rity Check-up. You’ll be given an in­stant se­cu­rity rat­ing, with po­ten­tial is­sues split into four cat­e­gories. Start at the top by click­ing Third-Party Ac­cess to see which apps and ser­vices have un­ver­i­fied ac­cess to your ac­count.

3 Re­view and re­voke

Work through the sec­tions us­ing the an­no­ta­tion as a guide. It’s all self-ex­plana­tory – po­ten­tial se­cu­rity is­sues, such as risky apps are listed first, but don’t for­get to check ev­ery­thing within each sec­tion (click ‘Show oth­ers’ un­der Third-Party Ac­cess, for ex­am­ple). Re­voke ac­cess where ap­pli­ca­ble, or click ‘Don’t recog­nise an event?’ to change your pass­word.

4 Change your pass­word

When you’ve com­pleted your au­dit, click ‘Con­tinue to my ac­count’. From the main screen, click ‘Sign­ing into Google’. You’ll see your pass­word listed along with the date it was last changed. Click ‘>’ to up­date it. En­ter your ex­ist­ing pass­word, then change it for some­thing stronger – if you have a pass­word man­ager use that to gen­er­ate and store a strong, ran­dom pass­word.

Two-step ver­i­fi­ca­tion en­sures you need a ver­i­fi­ca­tion code along with your ac­count pass­word to sign into Google. It pro­tects your ac­count in case your pass­word is com­pro­mised, and the code changes reg­u­larly for ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion. The code can be de­liv­ered to your mo­bile phone. Click ‘>’ next to 2-Step Ver­i­fi­ca­tion, fol­lowed by Get Started to start the process.

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