Every now and then, Google adds tools and issues warnings that are meant to help its users feel and stay safe while using their offerings – the recent warning to Gmail users whose account was accessed from IP addresses pointing to China is an example of this continuing effort.
Also very recently, Google introduced a security checklist for Gmail users, which can be accessed by following the Help link in the account, then clicking on the offered appropriate link in the left column:
The checklist is divided in 5 parts. The first one reminds you to check for viruses and malware, make sure your operating system is up to date and to perform regular software updates. The second one advises you to check your browser for plug-ins, extensions, and third-party programs that require access to your Google Account credentials and to make sure your browser is up to date.
The third one concerns your Google Account, and asks you to change your password, check the list of websites that are authorized to access your Google Account data and update your account recovery options. The fourth one reminds you to check your Gmail settings – confirm the accuracy of your mail settings to ensure that your mail stays and goes where you want it to, check for any strange recent activity on your account and advises you to use a secure connection to sign in.
The fifth and final part gives out a few general tips on keeping safe, such as being on the lookout for phishing emails purportedly coming from Google, not following links from e-mails, not sharing your Google account password with other websites or other people, always signing out when finishing reading your mail, and more.
It really is a most helpful checklist, especially if you had your account hijacked and you have only just regained possession of and access to it. But even if your account hasn’t been compromised, running through the checklist might be a good idea.