Going through your passwords and updating them every so often is a very wise habit to get into, particularly when they are used to protect a lot of data—as the password to your Google account often is. Considering this, let’s go over how to update your Google password and otherwise lock down your account.
For many, their Google account is linked to quite a few frequently-used utilities and applications. Going far beyond the search engine functionality it began as, Google’s services now involve multiple programs and solutions. As such, the potential danger of a cybercriminal accessing your Google account is increased greatly.
For instance, a Google account is now linked to:
… with many, many other accounts and services also tied to Google. A good rule of thumb: anything with “Android,” “Chrome,” or of course “Google” in the name is likely tied to your Google account.
Fortunately, Google makes it exceptionally simple to update the password to your account:
A WORD OF WARNING: Naturally, with so much tied to a single password, you need to make sure it is as secure as you can possibly make it. Use a totally unique password—not one that provides you with access to any other account. Don’t include any personally identifiable information that others might associate with you, like your birth date, maiden name, social security number, phone number, or the like.
To help accomplish this, it will help to use a password manager to keep track of them all, along with any built-in password creation features it has built in, as this will help you to generate a secure, randomized password with sufficient complexity. You could also string a few random and unrelated words together to make a passphrase, sprinkling in numbers and symbols as you see fit to help make a memorable but significantly more secure option.
Once you make these changes, you’ll probably need to re-log into your Google account on a few devices.
To really protect your Google account, let’s go a little further and set up 2-Step Verification (also commonly known as Two-Factor Authentication) if you have not yet done so. 2-Step Verification is a great insurance policy against the possibility that your password is breached.
Once your password is changed, from your Google Account page:
Your various authentication options come at varying levels of simplicity and efficacy. Most convenient is the use of a Google prompt, which sends a notification to your Android device whenever a new device is attempting to log into your account that allows you to permit or disallow permission to do so. Receiving a text message with a code is undoubtedly convenient, but less secure as these text messages can potentially be intercepted. The most secure option is to utilize Google’s Authenticator app, which is also simple to set up.
If your business uses Google’s solutions to power your business, SouthBridge Consulting recommends that you implement these changes. Need help? Give our team a call at 281-816-6430.