Google’s security challenge is a good way to check the security of all the accounts you have online. In addition, it gives you 2GB of extra storage for free.
Most computer users’ common sense tells them to be cautious with regard to the security of the personal and/or sensitive information they put into their computers, especially when starting up a new account online. However, it is also important to check your accounts on a regular basis to make sure they are up to date.
Now that the “after Internet Day” is approaching, Google is offering a quick security check. After you complete it, you will be awarded 2GB of free cloud storage. This will benefit all of those who tend to let time go by and one day find out that their accounts have not been updated for years. Google’s security challenge will perform a quick check on your computer’s security and the updates for all of your accounts.
Information recovery will also be checked
It is important that information, such as your telephone number, security questions, and email addresses stay up to date so you could recover the control of all your accounts in case of a security breach.
Having the ability to forward your recovered email into one email box can come in handy. However, recovering email addresses and forwarding them into an email box that could also be compromised is not feasible. For instance, using the Gmail box you may have at the time of the compromise is not recommended, as it would make no sense to have Google forward your recovered password details, sensitive and/or personal information to a box that may already be compromised by hackers, making it possible for them to retrieve all of that information.
In fact, it would be in your best interest to have a separate email address set up entirely for recovering lost information that is only used for a situation mentioned above. Furthermore, even though the webmail services you use try to encourage you to link all of your accounts together, keep in mind that the account for retrieving lost information should always be kept separately and not linked to any other accounts. Actually, it should be a secret that only you know of.
Aliases can be used to recover lost information
A good idea for an email address to receive your recovered information would be to set up an alias email account. This recovery email address would consist of a fake user name and a very strong password, such as: (1) Sally@youremail.com, then you should click on the advanced settings and make yourself a second email address, like (2) Mary@youremail.com.
What you want to do is have the information forwarded to the first address, where hackers will not be able to get into it because it is a fake account. From there you will forward it to the second recovery email address.
You can use alias accounts in order to protect other accounts as well. Let’s say that your public email address is Sara@runaround.com, and you create an alias (TinyTim@plazoo.com) to use for logging into your Amazon account. Hackers will not be able to get into Sara’s email due to it being a non-existing account; therefore, TinyTims account will be safe. Doing it this way also benefits the foils of social engineering attacks that happen to Amazon’s support team.
If you consider the possibility of your friends getting into your account, keep in mind they are more than likely to know a lot of your personal information, so be sure to choose difficult security questions. Or maybe you just broke up with someone and that is not going so well – it may be time to overhaul your online information to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Keep an eye on all connected devices
Always keep your eye on your connected devices – this lets you review when and where your accounts have been accessed. If you spot something out of the ordinary and don’t know when it happened, the first thing you will want to do is change your passwords and enable a two-factor authentication for extra precaution.
Then you will want to remove anything you haven’t been using and everything that was handed down from another people. These things can be added again if you need them back, just remember that you cannot take back the fact of being hacked.
Clear all account permissions
This means you go back in time and review any and all services you have used at one time or another. You may have used many different webmail accounts throughout the years, and other types of accounts that you forgot about when you began using a different one. This applies to other things too, such as connected devices. Cannot remember where something came from? Delete it. Not using something? Delete it.
Check all the passwords to your apps
Check all the entries on your password list that have been generated for use on your devices and/or services and do not use a two-factor authentication.
This refers to passwords created for your computer or mobile devices that allow you to access contacts and things like your calendar, printer, and network storage drive (it needs an email to send you the alerts). If you come across something that does not belong there, get rid of it. You would be wise to delete any devices and/or services that are no longer needed, like previous phones, since they pose security threats and may contain loopholes.
Review your two-step settings for verifications
A two-step authentication is used to keep others from accessing your account on a new device. They would have to have your password and a one-time code to do so. The code is sent straight to you through SMS unless generated using a mobile app. This would be a good thing to do with all of your services. The two-step authentication is not 100% safe either – there have been hackers that managed to find holes in mobile phones.
Have you dealt with security threats before? Have you recently performed a security audit? If the answer is “no,” now is the time to act. Sign up for Google’s security check and take your security in your own hands.