Check your Google Security page

Welcome to my Google Account Security Check Guide! Regularly monitoring and maintaining the security of your Google account is crucial to safeguarding your personal information. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your account remains secure. And this means not just one time!  Make sure to set up  a calendar reminder to check these settings at least once a month.

Step 1: Accessing Your Google Account

  1. Log in to your Google account at least once a month.
  2. Open the Chrome Browser.
  3. Locate your profile picture in the upper right-hand corner. **Note:** Do not click on this picture.
  4. Instead, click on the profile picture right below it.
  5. Select “Manage your Google account” from the dropdown menu.

Step 2: Reviewing Security Settings

This next section will cover a very important set of configurations for your Google account, and should be one you become familiar with.  I’m going to highlight the settings you should be checking each month.

  1. After accessing your account settings, navigate to the tab labeled “Security” on the left side.
  2. Click on “Security” to view detailed information about your account’s security status.

Step 3: Checking Account Recovery Information

Account recovery is one area that hackers like to get access to, so they can put their own phone number and email address into so that anytime you change the password they can reset it without you knowing about it.

  1. Scroll down to the section titled “How you sign in.”
  2. Verify the accuracy of your recovery phone number. Don’t just look at the number, click on it to see if there are any other numbers attached to the account.
  3. Ensure there is only one recovery phone number listed.
  4. Similarly, check your recovery email for accuracy. And again, click on the email address to see if there are any other email addresses added to your recovery list.

Step 4: Managing Signed-In Devices

Now, in this next section you will see all the devices that are signed in with this Google account. This is not just your phone, but laptop, desktop, Google Chromecast, devices like that. Also, make sure you check the location that was shown where the phone was last used, is where you were.

  1. Scroll further down to view the devices currently signed in to your account.
  2. Review each device listed and sign out of any inactive or unrecognized devices. Note: you might see a number of the same phone devices connected.  I had 7 devices that were the same phone, but they were “last accessed” 60, 100, or 200 days ago.  You can sign out of these devices, but do not sign out of your main phone that should be at the top of the list and “last accessed” within the past hour.
  3. Click on “Manage all devices” to access detailed information and sign out of inactive devices. My current device was last active 21 minutes ago in the list, just FYI.

Also note, after you sign out of all of these devices, they will not disappear from the list, but they will now show “signed out.”

Step 5: Reviewing Third-Party App Connections

These are the apps and websites that you clicked on the “Log in with Google account” instead of signing up with an account and password.  I suggest that you review these once a month and cancel the ones you do not use anymore.

  1. Locate the section titled “Your connection to third-party apps and services.”
  2. Click on “See all connections” to review the list of apps with access to your Google account.
  3. Remove access for any apps or services that you no longer use or recognize.

Note: By removing access for the apps or websites, it does not mean you are not allowed to use these apps or websites again.  It just means when you click on these, you will need to click on the “Sign in with my Google account.”

Step 6: Managing Passwords

You can store your passwords with Google, and Google is moving to make this a more efficient and secure way.  If you do not use Google, please get a password manager program, like Roboform, OnePass or LastPass.

  1. Navigate to the “Password Manager” section.
  2. Click on “Manage passwords” to view all saved passwords.
  3. Use the “Password checkup” feature to assess the security of your passwords.
  4. Change any reused or weak passwords to ensure they are strong and unique.

You should have a unique password for each and every account.  If this seems like a big problem, consider a Password manager program like OnePass, LastPass, etc.

Step 7: Regular Maintenance

  1. Make it a habit to check your Google Security page at least once a month.
  2. Set a reminder on your calendar to ensure regular maintenance of your account.
  3. Dedicate approximately 10 minutes each month to secure your Google account effectively.

By following these simple steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized access to your Google account.  So everyone, check your Google Security account page at least once a month to prevent your account from being stolen.

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