It isn’t uncommon that people’s Gmail accounts are frequently hacked or stolen just because they incorrectly and carelessly did the Gmail sign in.
Features such as “stay signed in” check box when used incorrectly during Gmail sign in can be the deadly cause of your account getting stolen. If in case you don’t even know what the Stay Signed In option does or where it can be selected, don’t use it. Also, the best and the most secure practice is never sign in your Gmail (or any other account) on a public computer.
When not to use Stay Signed In during Gmail.com Login
I expect people who read this article to be not so computer literate and that’s why I will thoroughly explain things as simple as the “Stay Signed In” option in detail.
So what does Stay signed in option do? Well, just like what it suggests, your Gmail sign in session will stay signed in after you close your internet browser (Chrome, IE or Firefox) or even after you shut down your computer. It means that the next time you switched on that PC and you go back to Gmail.com, your Gmail account will automatically be signed in (without you having to enter your Gmail account and password again), which also suggested that anyone who uses the same computer that you have “stay signed in” earlier can access to your Gmail account without your knowledge.
How to use Stay Signed In safely during Gmail Sign In
Stay signed in is an awesome feature for Gmail.com login, but it must be used with caution.
We recommend that you use the stay signed in option during Gmail sign in only when you are using home computers or a computers that you think it’s safe for anyone who can access to it. Never ever use stay signed in during Gmail.com login when you are using a computer that everyone else can use, such as computers in the airport, Starbucks, or any other public places.
Edit: Google has introduced “One Account All of Google” feature which allows users to sign in only once into their Gmail account and get to access to all other Google products without having to login to your Gmail account again. This also indicates that if you stay signed in on an unknown computer and when an unknown person access to your account, he/she will also get to access to any of your other Google products such as Google Plus, Google Hangout, your YouTube account (because YouTube belongs to Google), and most importantly your Google Drive and your precious photos. So, think twice before you use the Stay signed in option for Gmail Sign In.
2-Step Verification for Gmail.com Sign In Login
This is a very common feature available in most major web apps because it guarantees the safety of most users’ accounts. 2-Step verification Gmail.com login method is simply a must option to be enabled as soon as you register your Gmail account.
With 2-step verification security option enabled for Gmail sign in, whenever you or anyone else tries to login to your account, after entering your Gmail account password, you will be asked to enter an additional security code which will be sent to your mobile phone by SMS (or other available methods).
So, if someone, by accident, stole your Gmail login ID and password, he/she will not be able to login to your Gmail account without that additional piece of code (unless if he/she also have your mobile phone which is very unlikely). You can then be sure that your Gmail sign in account will be safe as long as your mobile phone is safe with you.
If you haven’t already enable 2-step verification method for Gmail.com login, do it now by going to Gmail.com, login to your account, click on your account photo, click My Account and then “Sign-In & Security”. Scroll down until you see 2-step verification. Switch it on and follow the on-screen instruction for the setup (it will ask for your mobile phone number for the verification purpose).
Should you give your phone number to Google for Gmail.com Login?
Yes, absolutely. When you register or sign up with Gmail, Google will ask you to provide them your active mobile phone number. The purpose of them getting your mobile phone number is to provide a gateway or method to identify that this accounts belongs to you and only you.
What this means is that, your mobile phone number will be used as one of the recovery options when you lose your account either because it’s hacked, stolen or that you simply forgot your Gmail sign in ID and password. When it’s chosen as your recovery option, you will receive codes (or possibly calls) which will then be used to identify that the Gmail sign in account belongs to you.
Other than using it for recovery, it can also be used for the 2-step verification Gmail.com login method mentioned earlier. If you haven’t already given Google your mobile phone number, do so now at the “Sign in & Security” page. You can also register your phone number with Gmail during the 2-step verification setup.