Helping to combat identity theft

Google uses a variety of technologies to help protect you from online identity theft and make sure that your Google account stays safe and secure.

2-step verification

To bring even stronger levels of protection to your Google account, we offer 2-step verification to our users. This tool adds an extra layer of security by requiring not just a password, but also a verification code to sign in to a Google account. Even if your password is cracked, guessed or otherwise stolen, an attacker can’t sign in to your account without entering the verification code that we’ll send to your mobile phone. We offer 2-step verification in more than 50 languages and 175 countries. Learn more about how you can set up 2-step verification here.

Encryption

Google takes many steps to keep your personal information safe from attackers and snoops. By default, we encrypt the Gmail connection between your computer and Google. This helps to protect your Google activity from being snooped on by others. We also make this protection, known as session-wide SSL encryption, the default when you’re signed in to Google Drive and many other services.

Suspicious account activity warnings

We've alerted a number of users when it looked like something unusual was going on with their Google account – for example, logins appearing to come from one country and occurring shortly after a login from another country. These users were shown a warning message in their Gmail inbox about this unusual access. We also occasionally make users change their passwords if we have reason to believe that their account has been compromised.

Email authentication

To help fight abuse and keep spam out of your inbox, Gmail uses email authentication to determine if a message actually originated from the address from which it appears to be sent. All active Gmail users – and the people in contact with them – automatically receive protection against threats to their personal and financial information.

Spam protection

Gmail protects you from spam and harmful emails. Gmail processes billions of messages every day and has an outstanding track record when it comes to protecting users from spam – less than 1% 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.