How To Make Your Google Account More Secure

Have you ever pondered upon the consequences of losing your Google login information to a malicious hacker on the Internet? However frightful the thought may be, the truth cannot be denied that users often lose their usernames and passwords and this generally occurs because of users accessing their account from public computers which are flooded with viruses, Trojans, Keyloggers etc.

Google’s 2 Step Verification method adds an extra layer of security to your Google account and keeps it secure even when you lose your login credentials. Whenever you try to access your account from an unauthorized device, Google will send you a code via a text or voice message. This code needs to be entered in order to successfully log into your Google account. This way, even if someone steals your username and password, they cannot access your account until they get hold your phone.

2 Step verification can be enabled for all Google services such as Gmail, Youtube, Blogger etc. To set up your additional layer of security go to your Google settings page and click on the edit link next to the 2 Step Verification text.

The next step will be to set up your mobile or landline phone number where you want to receive the code. Once you do that, verify your phone by entering the code that Google will send to your phone.

You will then be asked if you want to make the computer a trusted one. Trusted computers are those which require the Google verification code only once every 30 days. This prevents the annoyance of having to enter the code every time you log into your account from your own PC.

Do not make a public computer a trusted one as it will defy the whole purpose of setting up 2 step verification. However, if you have multiple computers, you can add all of them to the trusted list of computers from your Google account settings.

The last step requires your final confirmation and just a click on the ‘Turn On 2 Step Verification’ button.

Accessing your account after enabling 2 step verification does not change for trusted computers. However, if you try to login on an unrecognized device, a code will be sent to your phone immediately which needs to be entered for a successful login.


Since the 2 step verification method heavily relies on your phone for sending code, there can be problems in situations when you do not have your phone or there is no cell coverage. To counter this problem you can go to your Google account page and either add a backup phone number for your account or download an application (only for Android, iPhone or Blackberry) to generate the code. As a last resort, you can also keep a hard copy of upto 10 verification codes, each of which can be used only once.

To sum up, Google’s 2 step verification method is indeed an effective way to enhance the security of one’s account and strongly recommended for anyone who accesses his account from public computers.

3 Tools To Enrich Your Gmail Experience

With almost unlimited free storage, a simple and quick interface, Gmail has become the numero uno choice for users looking for a great free email service.

However, Gmail can do much more than just sending and receiving emails with the help of a few web tools and add-ons. Here we handpick 3 tools to make Gmail even more productive for you that it already is.

Rapportive

Rapportive is a free add on for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and the Mailplane browser that adds a sidebar to your Gmail window. Whenever you read an email, a sidebar on the right checks for the sender details and displays details such as phone number, email id etc along with social networking details including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin accounts.

Users can also view recent tweets from the contact or the email messages exchanged with him/her recently. Another excellent feature is the ability to add personal notes on that contact which can be read only by you.

 

Create Multiple sub-addresses on your account

Gmail provides a feature that lets you create sub-email addresses on your existing Gmail account on the go with the help of the “+” sign. All you need to do is add a “+” sign followed by any text after your Gmail username and use it like your a regular email id. The new email address will be of the form “username+anyword@gmail.com“.

Sub email addresses can be used for signing up for separate services and can also help reducing your inbox clutter. You can choose to set up separate filters for each sub address and automatically move those messages to the trash, apply a label or star, make it skip the inbox or forward it another email address.

Follow Up Your Emails

Many times it happens that we receive an email which we do not need for another few days or weeks. Followupthen is a free web service that can send you scheduled emails according to your desired time so that you read your emails when you actually need to.

To use the service, simply forward the email which you want to schedule for a later reading date to followupthen.com in any of the time formats as mentioned below:

Time Interval

  • 1minute@followupthen.com
  • 2hours@followupthen.com
  • 3days@followupthen.com
  • 4weeks@followupthen.com
  • 5months@followupthen.com
  • 6years@followupthen.com

Day of Week

  • tuesday@followupthen.com

Common Scheduling Terms

  • tomorrow@followupthen.com
  • nextweek@followupthen.com
  • nextmonth@followupthen.com

Specific Date

  • mar30@followupthen.com
  • 2010-05-30@followupthen.com

Specific Time

  • 11am@followupthen.com
  • 1132am@followupthen.com
  • 1500@followupthen.com

Specific Date and Time

  • tomorrow9am@followupthen.com
  • 12pmAug25@followupthen.com

Recurring Reminders

  • everywed@followupthen.com
  • everymar30@followupthen.com

Paid members can also enjoy the benefits of receiving SMS reminders and including attachments in the emails sent.

Another alternative to FollowUpThen is Boomerang which has similar functionality but needs to be installed as an add-on before it can be used.

Please let us know if there are any other Gmail based services that you guys find useful.

Customize Gmail and remove the clutter with Minimalist Gmail

GmailGmail is one of the world’s most popular free email services and is definitely my favorite email service. The reasons that I like Gmail for are simple enough. In my opinion, the reason Gmail is so popular is because Google really goes the extra mile to ensure that the Interface remains as clutter free as possible.

Even the advertisements that Google displays are all kept as discreet as possible and for people who don’t like to see ads, they even provide IMAP/SMTP as an option for those users.

Google has so far done a very good job of keeping the web based interface of Gmail clean and (mostly) clutter free. But, over the years as google has added features to Gmail, the interface, the two sidebars in particular, have become a little cluttered.

And to satisfy the power users, they’ve even gone so far as to implement a separate Labs section where they release features that are not considered ready for prime time. If you have a couple of these features enabled, they clutter the sidebar even more.

So, what are your options if you want to use the web based interface of Gmail but still want it to be as clutter free as your desktop email client ?

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How to translate emails to English with Gmail

GmailThe Gmail team has just made your life infinitely easier by enabling you to translate all the chinese spam emails that you get, to English. I can’t begin to tell you how much more productive I will be because of this new feature.

On a more serious note, this is probably more useful than it sounds. We all live in an increasingly social world. The Internet has made it possible to communicate with people from around the world and I cannot begin to tell you guys the number of times I’ve recieved emails from people with a phrase in a foreign language which I don’t understand. That will be a thing of the past from now on.

Gmail Translate uses the google translate service which, while quite accurate, is not always correct. But, it works quite well for translating simple phrases and understanding the gist of a conversation.

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Add your location to all outgoing emails in Gmail

gmail logoThe Gmail Labs area is quickly becoming a hotbed of activity with the Gmail engineers releasing a new feature as a part of Labs every few days.

The features available under Labs now include everything from the extremely useful ones like Offline Gmail to the mostly useless ones like Gmail Goggles.

If you still haven’t had a look at Labs, you should start now. Some of those features are, like I said, extremely useful.

To enable the features available in Labs, login to your Gmail account and click on Settings. You should see a Labs tab in the settings pane. All the new features are grouped under this tab.

Gmail Labs

The latest feature to have come out of Labs is the ability to add your physical location to an email’s signature.

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Manage your Photos with Firefox using GPhotospace

In the past year a lot of online storage companies have sprung up and a lot of them had to shut down. With the exception of Adrive (and now Skydrive) most companies only give away a measly 1 or 2 GBs for free with their basic offering. I mean come ‘on, Gmail gives more space than that.

The only problem is the space available with Gmail can only be used to store Email. What if I wanted to use the extra space lying around (7GB and counting) for storing Photos.

Gphotospace is your solution my friend. It is a free firefox extension that uses Gmail to store all your photos online. Donwload and install Gphotospace from the above link and you’re all set.

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