Check your Gmail settings

If you use Gmail, you can follow these steps to help make sure your account stays safe.

Make sure your email is not getting forwarded or shared unless you want it to be

Check the “Mail settings” tab in Gmail for forwarding and delegation settings that grant others access to your account to make sure your email is being directed properly.

If you forget your password, you need a way to get back into your account

Google can send you an email at a recovery email address if you need to reset your password, so make sure that recovery email address is up-to-date and is an account you can access. You can also add a phone number to your Gmail profile to receive a code to reset your password via text message.

Having a mobile phone number on your account is one of the easiest and most reliable ways to help keep your account safe. For example, Google can use the phone number to challenge people if they try to break into your account, and send you a verification code so you can get into your account if you ever lose access. Giving a recovery phone number to Google won’t result in you being signed up for marketing lists or getting more calls from telemarketers.

Your mobile phone is a more secure identification method than your recovery email address or a security question because, unlike the other two, you have physical possession of your mobile phone.

Check for unusual access or activity in your account

Regularly review your account for unfamiliar or suspicious activity. Click on the “details” link at the very bottom of the page to find the most recent IP addresses your mail was accessed from, and their associated locations. If you see suspicious account activity, immediately change your password and log out of your account. Find out more information about suspicious account activity.

When you’re signing into Gmail, you should check to make sure the web address begins with https:// (and not just “http://”). This signals that your connection to the website is encrypted and more resistant to snooping or tampering. For more Gmail tips, take a look at our Gmail security checklist.