Securing your data in your @u.northwestern.edu (or other G Suite) account
The best defense against suspicious activity is to be proactive about security. To protect your G Suite account, we strongly recommend following the steps below.
Preventing suspicious activity
- Use a strong password and change it regularly. Don't write it down, send it via email, or tell anyone. IT Support will never email you to ask for your password or other sensitive information. For tips on creating a strong password, see the Northwestern Knowledge Base.
- Update your account recovery options. If you are ever locked out of your account, having recovery options makes it easy to get back in control.
- Set up 2-Step Verification on your account. 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).
- 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.
- Protect your password. Never use your Google Account password on another website. Always create a website-specific password, different from all other passwords, when you sign up.
- Be cautious with email links. Avoid clicking links from untrusted sites, and never enter your password. To log in, always go directly to http://gmail.com or https://accounts.google.com.
What to do if your account is compromised
If you notice suspicious activity on your account, follow these steps to secure your account.
- Reset your NetID password. If your NetID is still active, reset your password immediately.
- Reset your Google Account password. If you used your Google account password on 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 as soon as you can.
- Do an account Security Checkup. Access Google’s Account Management Page. In the Security Checkup section, select Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions to check your account security.
- 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.
Precautions when using a public computer
If the computer you are using is shared by others, make sure you take these 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 your browser after use. Clear forms, passwords, cache, and cookies in your browser on a regular basis.
For more tips about online safety, visit Google's Safety Center.