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Rick Dexter

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Hey You… Update Your Google Password, Right Now!

If you haven’t taken the time to go through and update your passwords lately, particularly the one protecting your Google account, you should do so… despite it undeniably being a pain. After all, Google serves various purposes and is attached to many accounts for most. Considering the number of data breaches and other cybersecurity issues this potentially contributes to, you will want to ensure your Google account is properly locked down.

What Does a Google Account Involve?

Seeing as Google has grown to include far more than the original search engine, there are a lot of things that the average user has that involve Google in some way. Anyone who owns an Android smartphone, or surfs the Internet via the Chrome browser, or checks their email via Gmail certainly has a Google account, and this is but a small sample from a considerable list of items.

So, if a user’s Google account were to be compromised, a lot of data could potentially be exposed:

  • Google.com (for custom tailored search results)
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Docs/Sheets
  • Google Maps
  • Android
  • Google Workspace
  • Google Chrome
  • YouTube

Again, this is a brief sample. Chances are that—if it has something to do with Android, Chrome, or of course Google—it’ll be tied to your Google account.

Updating a Google Password

Fortunately, the process to change your Google password is quite simple:

  1. Visit https://accounts.google.com/. If you aren’t signed in already, log in with your email/phone number and password.
  2. Click Security on the left-hand side.
  3. Look for Signing in to Google. Click Password.
  4. Google will usually prompt you to provide your current password, and then have you input a new password.

REMINDER: While password security should always be a priority, the password you use to lock down your Google account absolutely must be as secure as you can make it. Use a unique password that is strong, without any personally identifiable information or other password shortcuts involved. Using a password manager can help make this easier, both by storing all your different passwords for you and assisting you in generating ones that are secure.

Once you have updated your Google password, you may have to log back in on some of your devices.

Adding Some Extra Security to Your Google Account

To really protect your Google account and the data it holds, it helps to take your security to the next level by enabling 2-Step Verification/2-Factor Authentication. This will help protect your account, even if your password was somehow stolen.

After changing your password, on the Google Account page:

  1. Click the Security option on the left-hand side of the page.
  2. Click 2-Step Verification.
  3. Google may prompt you to enter your password again, just to make sure it’s you.
  4. Depending on what Google already knows about you, this might go a few different ways—you’ll either be prompted to set up a phone number to get a text message or phone call, or Google might walk you through setting this up on your smartphone. Either way, follow the on-screen instructions.

You have a few options available to you in terms of the verification process. One of the more convenient is the option to be sent an SMS message with a secondary code required before your account can be accessed from a new device. For more security, there’s the Google prompt, which serves up a notification on your mobile to be tapped to confirm login, or Google’s own Authenticator app.

Fair warning—if your workplace uses Google Workspace, you might need the help of an administrator to enable 2-step verification. For more information on securing your accounts (or any other IT question you have), turn to the team at NDYNAMICS and reach out at 408-927-8700.

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Saturday, 25 September 2021

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