Make Gmail More Secure – https and account activity

If you use Gmail but haven’t turned on its SSL capability, you are certainly not alone. But you should. And it is very easy to do.

After logging into your gmail account, go to Settings, General, under Browser connection, check “Always use https,” and finally click Save Changes. That is it.

Why? When you access your webmail through a public wireless or non-encrypted network, a hacker may intercept the signals being transferred between your computer and the network. With some determination and software, the hacker may be able to collect “authentication cookies” used by your webmail service, and gain full access to your account, including the capability to change your password.

Since you have no control of a public network, other than not using it at all, you can encrypt the data instead – making them unreadable even if someone steals them. Turning on Gmail’s “Always use https” feature will do just that, by applying SSL protection to all information being transferred through the internet. SSL is commonly used by banks and ecommerce websites to protect their customer’s personal data, and is now available to Gmail users for free. So why not take advantage of it?

Gmail may become a little slower after turning on “always use https,” but I personally haven’t noticed any difference. Also a few applications may not yet be compatible with this feature. If it becomes troublesome, and you fully trust the security of the network you are using, you can turn this feature off.

Gmail https setting

Gmail https setting

Another security feature for Gmail, which is relatively new, is to monitor who accessed your email account and from where.

Near the bottom of your gmail page, find the “Last account activity” line. Click on “Details” will open up a window that lists the last few activities on your account. Information provided include Access Type (browser, Google toolbar, mobile, etc.), IP Addresses, and Date/Time. If any activity looks suspicious (not from you), you should investigate further and change your password. Note that if you use the “forward mail” feature, Google’s IP address may show up there.

If you forgot to log out of your gmail account from a computer you used before, there is a convenient buttion “Sign out all other sessions” that allows you to end all open sessions.

We like Gmail, so much so that we use it to communicate with site visitors who send us questions. If you contact us, don’t be surprised if you receive a reply from a Gmail account. One thing for sure, however, is that if you receive anything that asks for donations, or any kind of personal information, it is not from

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