There’s a saying with poker: If you look around the table and you can’t find the fish in the first five minutes – the fish is you. There are surprising number of similarities when it comes to being gamed at a poker table and being gamed online. Both can lose you a lot of money, both can be hard to detect, and both can make you feel like a complete idiot. On the web, “phishing” takes the form of account and identity theft, and recent attacks on Google Accounts have made it clear that there’s not a safe place. In the aftermath of these attacks, Google has released some basic advice on keeping your account secure.
Here’s a basic rundown of Google’s tips:
- Use Google’s 2-step verification process to add a phone-based login step to lock your account whenever it’s accessed from a new computer (and after set periods of time from a computer that’s already cleared the 2-step verification process).
- Strengthen your password by using a different password on Google than on other sites; using a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols; and avoiding easy-to-guess passwords (like “password”).
- Whenever asked to sign into your Google account, look at the URL in the address bar to ensure that it’s originating from a Google.com domain.
- Ignore any email claiming to be from a Google representative asking for your password.
- Check through your Gmail settings and ensure that there aren’t abnormal forwarding addresses. Abnormal forwarding addresses may indicate that your account has already been compromised.
- Keep an eye out for the Google-provided warnings about suspicious activity in your account or actions.
- Consider using Google Chrome for its improved security features.
In today’s world it’s challenging to stay safe online. By following these precautions and using some common sense (don’t send money to your uncle who’s in London unless you know that he’s, you know, in London) and you should be able to keep your information secure.
[via the Official Google Blog]