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