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Google's tips for Safer Internet Day are genuinely helpful

Say what you want about Google's privacy practices — the company has come up with online safety tips that make a lot of sense.

Published onFebruary 5, 2019

  • Google has shared some tips for improved online security.
  • Most of these tips, such as unique passwords and two-step verification, are very useful.

It might be hard for some to listen to Google when it comes to account protections — the company continually receives flak for its approach to privacy. That said, Google’s tips for Safer Internet Day seem like common sense suggestions that everyone should follow.

First up, you should be using unique passwords for each of your accounts. We understand the convenience of one password for multiple accounts, since you don’t have to remember nearly as much. That said, it’s game over for the rest of your accounts if a bad actor gains access to just one of them.

That hasn’t stopped most of you from re-using passwords, though. According to Google and Harris Poll’s national survey with 3,000 respondents, 65 percent re-use the same password for multiple accounts.

It doesn’t help that 60 percent of respondents also said they have too many passwords to remember. 49 percent of respondents often forget their passwords, with 50 percent writing their passwords down on paper.

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To that end, you should look into a password manager if you have several online accounts. Some of the more well-known options include LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, and Enpass. These password managers generate strong passwords, save passwords for future logins, and generally feature cross-platform support.

The next tip is to establish a recovery phone number or email address. That’s what you’ll use in the event that you’re locked out of your account and want to regain access to it.

The third tip is one of the more important ones — set up two-step verification. A growing number of online accounts now use two-step verification that places a secondary factor on top of your normal login credentials. This could be a code sent to your phone via SMS, a code generated in an app like Authy or Google Authenticator, or approving the sign-in from a different device.

The last two tips are more Google-specific — the Security Checkup and Be Internet Awesome.

The Security Checkup looks at four things — the number of devices where you’re signed into your Google account, recent security events, two-step verification, and third-party access. Meanwhile, Be Internet Awesome is Google’s initiative that lets parents and their kids learn about online safety.

Do you have any smart tips for staying safe online? Let us know in the comments!

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