Many Google Docs users were shocked to find a suspicious email in their inbox. Some were aware of deleting the email right away. Others, not so lucky. This prompted Google to warn users about a Google Docs phishing scam that may pop up in your inbox. This email invited the user to look at a Google Doc with a link that phished for the user’s personal information.
Google handled the incident quickly. The tech giant also disabled features that were created to steal your personal information, reports USA Today. The incident made people aware that Google Docs is not as safe as it may look. It will also the change the way people will use and collaborate with the free word-processing tool. It’s also important for you to make sure that you’re using Google Docs the right away.
The Google Docs phishing scam included an email saying that the user is invited to “edit the following document.” The recipient sees a form generated by a company that claims to be from Google. Some of the users weren’t sure if the email was legitimate or not. When you click on the link, the hackers will get access to your Google account and all the information you have stored.
Here are some smart ways to use Google Docs. Google offers the option to include a “shareable link” at the top. Use that option instead of generating the typical Google form email. Copy the link, compose your email, and send it to your friends, explaining what’s in the link and why they should open it. The Google Docs phishing scam included no context or note. It also didn’t even include the official blue Google Docs logo.
Enable Google’s two-factor authentication. This will protect you from potential hackers. Signing in twice will make it harder for hackers to access your account. Google’s two-step process starts by signing in with your password. The second step involves receiving a text message code or authorizing via your Google app on your smartphone. Google also has an Authenticator app for signing in.
Here are some additional Google Docs security tips from BetterCloud. You can limit sharing options in your Google Apps Control Panel. You also have options to set the link to private, with the domain, within the domain with a link, anyone with the link, and public on the web.
You also want to make sure that your Gmail settings are safe as well. Google Docs is a great way to collaborate with your colleagues and coworkers via email. But it can pose some safety issues, as you can see. You don’t want to risk having your Gmail account compromised.
Make sure you have a strong password. If you don’t, you may want to change it now or after reading this article. You also want to check your Gmail settings to ensure no one else has access to your emails. In addition, updating your web browser and reporting scams, spam, and phishing will keep your account safe and secure.
While signing into your Google accounts is easy and quick, it’s just as important to sign out of them as well. Be careful whenever you’re using a network you don’t know, and learn more about setting up your home router and WiFi network securely. Lock your smartphone screen or device before you leave the house.
Always keep your devices clean with anti-virus software and malware. Be sure to use safety measures when shopping online, especially on Google Shopping. Don’t use the same password that you use on your Google accounts. And, make sure to sign out of your account when you’re done with your online shopping.
These are just some of the ways that you can take control of your Google Docs, Gmail, and other Google accounts.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]