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Updated: August 12, 2013 11:04 IST

Stay safe online

Yuthika Bhargava
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The Hindu

Google tells its users how to protect against identity theft

Throughout our lives, we receive a million lessons on the importance of keeping personal information secure to prevent identity theft -- stealing of personal information for accessing bank account details or committing crimes in your name. Till a few years back, this was as easy as keeping your wallet safe and important documents properly filed and locked. But today, with proliferation of the Internet, and almost every individual or a business connected online, the risk has grown manifold. 

Four out of five online adults were victims of identity theft in 2011 in India, which has about 150 million Internet users, according to industry reports.

Your email account is most likely to be the biggest repository of information about you. Internet products giant Google says it has a protection in place for its users.

According to Google, security is the top concern that its users have communicated to the search giant. “They want assurance that we’re protecting their information from outside parties who want to access it,” it says, adding that it has more than 250 experts working round the clock ensuring the safety and security of users.

Google encrypts the Gmail connection between computer and Google which in turn protects Google activities from being snooped on by others. This protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, is the default when you’re signed into Google Drive. 

Each day  more than 10,000 unsafe sites are found and show warnings on up to 14 million Google Search results and 300,000 downloads, to protect users from going to sites that might harm their computer and make their information more vulnerable.

“…less than one per cent of all the spam in Gmail ends up reaching someone’s inbox. When a spammer sends a new type of junk mail, our systems often identify and block it from Google accounts within minutes. This makes it less likely that spammy messages that might hurt your computer or try to steal your personal information will be able to do so,” it said.

Further, a user has the option of turning on two-step verification service for all Google Accounts to add an extra layer of security and protection to users’ accounts. This tool requires not just a password, but also a verification code to sign in to a Google Account. Even if your password is cracked, an attacker can’t sign in to the account without entering the verification code sent to the user’s mobile phone.

These are some of the things that the company takes, but it is your account and you don’t need to be a cyber expert to protect it. More often than not a few basic tips can help you trick the hacker.

If you are a Google user, turn on the two-step verification. Make sure your password is strong and unique for each online account. Keep your recovery options up-to-date.

Don’t ignore warning related to malicious sites as most dangerous sites are actually just legitimate sites that have been compromised, they could be websites you visit regularly or have safely visited hundreds of times.

A malware can easily find its way into your computer when you visit a site – just visiting puts your computer at risk.

Don’t install untrusted applications or anti-viruses. You might come across a fake warning showing that your computer is infected and you need to install a program to clean up the infection. When you install the program, you gift the other person access to steal your information.

thank you

from:  rajagopalan iyer
Posted on: Aug 13, 2013 at 09:19 IST

Very insightful :)

from:  Shaharban
Posted on: Aug 12, 2013 at 15:32 IST
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