Tech Tip #3: Secure your email from hackers

76b70a0931001f255ffc_Niru_Mallavarupu.jpg
Niru Mallavarupu Credits: mobilearq.com
76b70a0931001f255ffc_Niru_Mallavarupu.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - A Gmail phishing* attack has been perpetuated on millions of users in which the hacker sends you a fake email with an attachment that appears to come from one of your friends. Clicking on the attachment takes you to a replica of a Gmail login page. Once you enter your login and password, your email account is successfully hacked.

A single step authentication, i.e., using only your password to unlock your account, can be readily compromised by the 'phishing' attacks as described above, enabling hackers to access your account. However, the use of an additional layer of security in form of 'two-step verification' will prevent an unwanted individual to access to your email when your password is compromised.

In these days, it has become an absolute must to set up two-step authentication on all of your email accounts as well as other Internet-based accounts.

Sign Up for E-News

If you are interested in making your Gmail account hacker-proof right now, then skip the discussion below and proceed directly to the 'How to setup two-step verification for your Gmail'.

Two-Step Verification Versus Two-Factor Authentication

Authentication in computers is the process of identifying yourself to a device with an id and a special piece of information that only you can provide, e.g., a password. Unless your password is long and complex, it can be readily decoded by software known as a ‘bot’. Since most people use the same password for all of their Internet activity, once their password is hacked, then, all of their accounts become vulnerable.

There are three types of authentication factors:

Something you know:

Password or a code sent to your phone

Something you have:

A smartcard or a Yubi Key

Something you are:

Fingerprint or your iris print

When two different factors are used to open the door to your account, then it is considered 'two factor authentication'. When multiple different factors are used to open the door, the process is called 'multi-factor authentication'.

On the other hand, when the same factor, e.g., ‘something you know’, is used in two different formats or steps to open the door, for example, password and a code sent to your phone the process is called two-step authentication. You may argue that the code that is sent to you represents a second factor since it is received on a device that you have. However, this argument overlooks the fact that it is the code, ‘something you know’, that is enabling you to access the account and not the physical device that receives this code. Two-step verification and two-factor authentication both offer an additional layer of security that is ten times better than single-factor authentication.

How do you setup two-step verification for your email account?

Two-step verification to access your email account is the preferred security feature that we should all use to secure our accounts against hacking.

We will discuss the simplest way to set up two-step verification for your email. Two-step verification can be used for other Internet email accounts and services such as PayPal, Dropbox, Kickstarter, Mailchimp, Apple, LinkedIn, Evernote, sites powered by Wordpress and many more services.

Here is an example of how to set up two-step verification for Gmail.

Step 1: Open your Gmail account settings by clicking on 'My Account' on the top right hand corner of your email on a browser. (Figure1) 

Step 2: Click on 'Sign-in & Security' on the settings menu. (Figure 2).

Step 3: Click on '2 Step Verification' on the next page (Figure 3). Once you click on 'Get Started' (Figure 4), it will take you through the steps to setup 2-step verification.

Step 4: Add your mobile number on the next page so that Google can send you a code each time you log into your account from a new device. (Figure 4)

Step 5: Once you add your mobile number on the next page, Google will send you a code to your phone as in Figure 5.

Step 6: The next step is to add the code provided in your text message to Google as in Figure 6 below.

Step 7: You are all done and you can now TURN ON two-step verification by clicking on “TURN ON” as in Figure 7.

Setting up this one time 2 step verification process will keep hackers out of your email forever as they cannot get access to your phone. They would need to not only identify your mobile phone number but also intercept the text messages to get to the same code.

There are other alternatives to setup additional precautions that Gmail offers as shown in Figure 8 such as backup codes and 'Google Authenticator App' or 'Yubi Keys' which we will discuss in future articles.

About the author:

Nirupama Mallavarupu is the Founder and CEO of MobileArq, a boutique software company based in Summit, NJ. MobileArq is offering a build-an-app course this winter for high school students. Please check it out at https://mobilearq.com/learn-build-an-app-winter/ . Send support@mobilearq.com any questions you have about the article or the course.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Springfield

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by prominent ...

Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County, Sunday, July 8

June 22, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The first performance will be presented on Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade in Linden.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New jersey will present an hour long performance of “Powerful Trouble,” a stirring ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, June 23, 10:00 AM

CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties, Morristown

CASA Information Session

Mon, June 25, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness