Of all the accounts we have on the Internet, our email is one of the most important, most sensitive and most used, and is has to be treated with special care when it comes to safety. Besides any sensitive information you might have in your email, you can reset almost any password from any site with just your email account, so it would be a big problem if someone hacked into your account and had access to all your personal information.

You may never be the victim of an attack in which a third party gets hold of your password, but you never know if you will, so you should always be careful and take precautions to avoid security problems. If you are a Gmail user, there are several ways to keep your account protected with simple methods that take no time at all.

Use secure passwords

Maybe you’ve heard again and again about using strong passwords, but it is a very important issue, especially because most users still use simple passwords that any person could decipher in a short time or a computer could obtain in seconds. It is important to create a password that is unique, containing numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters and special characters. After taking all this into account, you should also consider adding at least eight characters in total, which will make it almost impossible for someone to decipher and quite difficult for a hacker to obtain, so much so that even specialized software would take more than five years with 1,200 variations per second to find out a match. You can also use a password manager like LastPass to avoid having to learn all the complicated passwords to your multiple accounts.

Oh, and also, don’t use the same password for two different sites.

Enable two-step verification

Although two-step verification can become a bit annoying when you don’t have your phone with you or when you decide to format it, it is an excellent way to add a ton of security to your Gmail account easily. This feature will send a verification code to your phone when you log into Gmail. This means that for someone to access your account, they would need to have your password and your mobile phone, a difficult scenario to achieve.

To enable two-step verification, go to this link, sign in with your Google account and follow the setup instructions.

Encrypt your emails

Although using data encryption seems to be a thing you only see in television series about espionage and hackers, it is an excellent method to prevent someone from getting your information, even if he can access your account. Encryption takes a message written in common language and turns it into something incomprehensible that needs a special key to be decrypted.

To do this you can install an extension for Chrome (which also works in Opera) called Mailvelope that integrates with the Gmail web interface and adds options to encrypt and decrypt messages when necessary. The extension also works with Yahoo Mail and Outlook.

Use the incognito tab

incognito

Finally, it is very important to use the incognito tab. Although today we mostly use our phones to check our email at all times, sometimes we can also use a shared public computer such as those in libraries or universities. In that case you must be very careful when logging into your email account because we could forget to close it, which would be a big problem. So to prevent someone from taking possession of your account, always open a window in incognito mode. Thus, when you close the window to end the session it automatically logs out and forgets any passwords or data you entered.

So, how many of these tips do you already use? Also, if you have any more tips feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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Santiago Hinojosa
Santiago has been a tech enthusiast since he was 7 years old, specially of mobile technology. He lives in Mexico and studies graphic design and animation. He has a huge passion for photography and cinematography and when he´s not in school you´ll see him reading books, learning about cinematography, taking pictures and researching interesting technology topics.