Gmail has come under much criticism in the past for being monitored by Google for its own personal gains. Whether that’s true or not is a completely separate topic altogether. But is it safe against hackers and shady fellow Gmail users? That is our major concern. And in all bluntness, the answer is no.
The silly ‘Forgot my Password’ feature is child’s play for just about anyone who can operate a keyboard and mouse. So Google offers an alternative, something it considers high level security: two step verification. It’s free and easy to use but that doesn’t mean it’s all that safe as it’s cracked up to be.
What the Feature Offers
If you haven’t any clue as to what the feature does, here it is. Basically once you turn the feature on, your computer goes from being a possible victim of PC monitoring to a location sleuth. In short, since Google already knows your IP address and where you log in from, it offers a geo-based security verification feature. So this means that every time you try logging onto your Gmail account from a decidedly different location or device, Google asks for verification before letting you proceed. It sends a code to your iPhone (which compromises it the minute it sends it, God Forbid mobile iPhone spy app is present) which you must enter to access your account.
What Can Go Wrong
So though it seems like a sensible enough feature, there are so many things that can go awry here. For one, if your phone is stolen, all a hacker has to do is catch your email ID and password and then log onto your email from somewhere else. Really no saving you there once that happens. Second, you can’t keep your eyes on your phone at all times. Someone close by can do the damage too (yes, the annoyed girlfriend you just dumped yesterday). So the feature can’t do you all that good on its own. You have to take precautions on your end too. For one, start using LastPass to avoid your login credentials being carved out on every device or app you use, especially if you fear iPhone spy app.
How to Save Yourself
Don’t be stupid. Perhaps you expected something more from this answer but this is about all your going to get. Reason is, no matter how advanced the security settings get for your beloved Gmail account, no amount of security will save you if you make seriously stupid mistakes. And these include:
1. Using weak passwords. He who holds the password holds the account. There is no other way of going about it. You are not a legal licensed owner of your email account. If you think up passwords that consist of four letters or is your birth date, then the compromisation of the account lies in your hands. Same goes for security questions. Finding out your mother’s maiden name is not tough as tough as you think.
2. Leaving private photos in your outbox. Many people have begun using email accounts as storage drives. This is not advisable. If you must have your photos in the buff at all times accessible, then perhaps your need to do this is understandable. Otherwise it really isn’t.
3. Flirting with women online. This one is a bit tough. Sure you have a right to talk to whoever you want however you want. But if an outrageously pretty girl starts asking for anything related to your email or phone, just take the hint and quit the conversation.
Jane Andrew writes about monitoring software for computer and cell phones. She provides tips and tricks about iPhone spy and other mobile phone security. You can also follow her on Twitter @janeandrew01 to get the latest tips about security.