Make your account more secure

At Google, we take online security seriously. To protect your Google Account, we strongly recommend following the steps below regularly.

Important: Google may use a red, yellow, or blue exclamation point icon to recommend immediate action for your Google Account. To learn more, go to Recommended actions.

Recommended actions

An exclamation point beside "Recommended actions” means that Google recommends you take active steps to secure your account. The level of severity is based on their color: blue for security tips, yellow for important steps and red for urgent ones. A green shield with a check mark means your account is healthy and no immediate action is needed.

To check for notifications:

  1. Sign into your Google Account.
  2. At the top right, select your profile picture.
  3. Select Recommended actions.
    • This takes you to Security Checkup, where you’ll get personal recommendations to improve your account security.

If Recommended actions doesn’t appear, it means Google doesn’t have any security recommendations for you. However, you can review your security level in your Google Account:

  1. Sign into your Google Account.
  2. Go to Manage Your Account and then Security.
    • At the top, if all recommendations are resolved, this page shows a green shield.
    • If this page shows a green shield, your account is secure, but you may also have security tips that share suggestions to make your account more secure.

Tip: If you’re a journalist, activist, or someone else at risk of targeted online attacks, learn about the Advanced Protection Program.

Step 1: Do a Security Checkup

Go to Security Checkup to get personalized security recommendations for your Google Account, including:

Add or update account recovery options

Your recovery phone number and email address are powerful security tools. This contact info can be used to help:

  • Block someone from using your account without your permission
  • Alert you if there’s suspicious activity on your account
  • Recover your account if you’re ever locked out

Learn how to add or change your recovery phone number or email address.

Turn on 2-Step Verification

2-Step Verification helps prevent a hacker from getting into your account, even if they steal your password. To avoid common phishing techniques associated with text message codes, choose a stronger second verification step:

Increased security: Advanced Protection

If you’re a journalist, activist, or someone else at risk of targeted online attacks, consider enrolling in the Advanced Protection Program for a higher level of security. Advanced Protection uses security keys to protect against phishing and includes other protections like blocking unsecure apps.

Remove risky access to your data

To better protect sensitive information, review which apps can use your account info and remove the ones you don’t need.

Turn on screen locks

Screen locks help protect your devices from being used without your permission. Learn how to set screen locks on an Android device.

Tip: For info on adding a screen lock on other devices and computers, visit the manufacturer’s support site.

Step 2: Update your software

If your browser, operating system, or apps are out-of-date, the software might not be safe from hackers. To help protect your account, keep your software updated.

Update your browser

Make sure to use the latest version of your browser.

Learn how to update Google Chrome.

Tip: To learn how to update other browsers, go to the developer’s support site.

Update your operating system

On your computer or device, make sure to use the latest version of your operating system.

Tip: To learn how to update other devices and computers, go to the manufacturer’s support site.

Update your apps

On your phone or computer, make sure to use the latest version of apps.

Tip: To learn how to update apps on other devices and computers, go to the manufacturer’s support site.

Step 3: Use unique, strong passwords

It’s risky to use the same password on multiple sites. If your password for one site is hacked, it could be used to get into your accounts for multiple sites.

Make sure to create a strong, unique password for each account.

Manage your passwords

A password manager can help you generate and manage strong, unique passwords. Consider using one from Chrome or another trusted password manager provider.

Tip: To find out if any passwords saved in your Google Account may be exposed, are weak, or are reused for multiple accounts, you can use Password Checkup.

Help protect your password from hackers

To get notified if you enter your Google Account password on a non-Google site, turn on Password Alert for Chrome. That way, you’ll know if a site is impersonating Google, and you can change your password if it gets stolen.

Tip: Turn on 2-Step Verification for an extra layer of account security.

Step 4: Remove apps & browser extensions you don’t need

As more apps are installed on a device, it can become more vulnerable. On devices that have access to sensitive information, only install the apps and browser extensions you need. To better protect your personal info, don’t install unknown apps or apps from unknown sources.

Learn how to uninstall apps and extensions on your device:

Tip: To learn how to remove apps and extensions from other devices and browsers, go to the device or browser’s support site.

Step 5: Protect against suspicious messages & content

Hackers can use emails, text messages, phone calls, and web pages to pretend to be institutions, family members, or colleagues.

Avoid suspicious requests
  • Never give out your passwords. Google never asks for your password in an email, message, or phone call.
  • Don’t reply to suspicious emails, texts, instant messages, webpages, or phone calls that ask for your personal or financial info.
  • Don’t click links in emails, messages, webpages, or pop-ups from untrustworthy websites or senders.
Avoid suspicious emails

To help protect your account, Gmail automatically identifies suspicious emails. To reinforce this built-in protection, you can also identify suspicious emails and settings yourself:

Tip: If you're using Gmail on your computer, point to a link without clicking on it. At the bottom left, look at the web address and make sure it's what you expect.

Avoid suspicious web pages

Google Chrome and Search are designed to warn you about suspicious content and unwanted software.

Learn how to manage these warnings in Chrome and Search.

If you notice suspicious activity on your account

Follow the steps to help secure your account.

Related resources

Protect Your Identity Online

Get step-by-step visual guides on the tools and practices that will help you protect your personal information with Google's Online Security Guidebook.

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