Gmail Security Checklist, Improve Login Security

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 7, 2010
Updated • Jan 12, 2015
Email, Gmail

There are two to tango, and the same is true for an effective online security strategy. What does it mean? On the one side, the company offering a service needs to make sure that user accounts are protected on their servers, that no one can exploit vulnerabilities to gain login information or other data from users of the service.

On the other side of the table is the user and the local computer the service is accessed from. The user has responsibilities too like making sure the computer is running up to date software and protected against threats.

Google has created the Gmail Security Checklist recently to aid users in tightening the security of their Gmail account.

The checklist lists a total of 18 different items that are divided into five groups.

  • Your Computer: Check for viruses and malware, Make sure your operating system is up to date, Make sure to perform regular software updates.
  • Your browser: Check your browser for plug-ins, extensions, and third-party programs/tools that require access to your Google Account credentials, Make sure your browser is up to date
  • Your Google Account: Change your password, Check the list of websites that are authorized to access your Google Account data, Update your account recovery options
  • 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, Use a secure connection to sign in.
  • Final Reminders: Watch out for messages that ask for your username and/or password. Gmail will never ask for this information, Never give out your password after following a link sent to you in a message, even if it looks like Gmail's sign-in page. Access Gmail directly by typing in your browser's address bar, Don’t share your password with other websites - Google can’t guarantee the security of other websites and your Gmail password could be compromised, Keep secrets! Never tell anyone your password, or your secret question and answer; if you do tell someone, change it as soon as possible, Clear forms, passwords, cache and cookies in your browser on a regular basis - especially on a public computer, Only select 'Stay signed in' if you're signing in from a personal computer, Always sign out when you've finished reading your mail.

Those short reminders alone won't help a lot of users protect their account login and data. A read more button is displayed next to each item that contains further explanations and links to related services, software and information. The check for viruses and malware link for instance links to a page that lists antivirus software to perform those checks.

It will take more than a minute to go through all the items, but it can be very well worth it. Experienced users may be able to complete it just by looking at the titles of each suggestion, while inexperienced users may need to click on the read more link for additional instructions and links.

Gmail Checklist in 30 seconds or less:

Make sure your operating system, software and web browsers are up to date. Make also sure you run an up to date antivirus software.

Check Google account and Gmail settings to make sure that only authorized websites and services are able to access them.

Update your account recovery options and regularly check for recent account activities.

Finally, make sure you always use a secure connection to sign in, and make sure to log out whenever you are finished using the service.

Keeping those basic rules in mind goes a long way to keep any account on the Internet secure.

Check out the Gmail Checklist at Google.

The new checklists lists nine items in total:

  1. Secure your password.
  2. Update your account recovery options.
  3. Check your account for unusual activity.
  4. Check your Gmail settings.
  5. Keep your device clean.
  6. Update your browser.
  7. Turn on 2-Step verification.
  8. Prevent identity theft and avoid scams.
  9. Learn more about account security.
Gmail Security Checklist, Improve Login Security
Article Name
Gmail Security Checklist, Improve Login Security
Google released a security checklist that walks you through the steps of improving the security of your Gmail account.

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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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