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Google Chat will be replaced by Hangouts on June 26, 2017. Learn how to use Hangouts.

Make your account more secure

At Google, we take account security very seriously. To protect your account, we strongly recommend following the steps below regularly, especially if you notice changes to your account that you didn’t make.

If you think your account has been compromised, reset your password immediately.

To help make your Google Account more secure, follow these steps.

Step 1: Check for viruses and malware

Run a scan on your computer with a trusted anti-virus software. If the scan detects any suspicious programs or applications, remove them immediately. Read more at the Google Safety Center.

Step 2: Do an account Security Checkup

Go to the My Account page. In the "Security Checkup" section, select Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions to check your account security.

Step 3: Update your account recovery options

Check that your account recovery options are up-to-date.

Step 4: Enroll in 2-step verification

2-Step Verification adds an extra layer of security to your account. The process requires you to sign in with something you know (your password) and something you have (a code sent to your phone).

Step 5: Perform regular operating system and browser updates

Make sure you've set your computer to update automatically. If you get a notice to update, take care of it right away.

Step 6: Never use your Google Account password on another website

If you enter your password in an external website and it's compromised, someone could try to sign in to your Google Account with the same information. Make sure to change your Google Account password.

Step 7: Protect your password

Never enter your password after following a link in an email from an untrusted site. Always go directly to mail.google.com or accounts.google.com/login.

Step 8: Use a strong password

Don't write it down, send it via email, or tell anyone. Google will never email you to ask for your password or other sensitive information.

If you use a public computer, take these extra steps:

  • Always sign out of your account. At the top of the page,  click your name, email address, or profile picture. Then, select Sign out.
  • Clear forms, passwords, cache, and cookies in your browser on a regular basis.
Note: You should perform these steps more frequently if you begin to notice suspicious behavior in your computer, such as general slowness and pop-up advertisements. For more tips about online safety, visit Google's Safety Center.

Megan is a Google Chat expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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