What To Do If Your G Suite Email Gets Hacked

Posted by David Chism | Tue, Nov 1, 2016

Many of my cus­tomers use Google Apps (now known as G Suite) for their busi­ness email, cal­en­dar and stor­age space. G Suite is a pret­ty secure plat­form for paid users. How­ev­er, many times, G Suite users do not take the prop­er steps to make sure their data is extra secure. Over the past few years, I have received more and more noti­fi­ca­tions from cus­tomers that their email sys­tem was hacked. Below are a few easy-to- fol­low tips to make sure your orga­ni­za­tion’s email (on Google) is pro­tect­ed against hacks. Obvi­ous­ly noth­ing online is 100% secure, but fol­low­ing some of these tips below will real­ly help avoid or mit­i­gate an attack. [cap­tion id=“attachment_3260” align=“alignright” width=“300”]hack-email-example Hacked Email Exam­ple in Gmail[/caption]

Tip #1 Stronger Pass­words for Your Staff

Try not to use pass­words that are easy to remem­ber. Google will tell you if your pass­word is weak, fair, good or strong. A weak or fair pass­word today is going to be some­thing like, m@cGeek01” or Ch@rger$Fan1.” The stronger pass­words will be like this: RruFs9TA6HjGJT.” Those are a roy­al pain, I know! In order for me to keep track of email pass­words like that, I use a pass­word vault” to help remem­ber these things. Check out: 1Password or Call­pod Keep­er.

Tip #2: Turn On & Require Two-Step Authen­ti­ca­tion for Everyone

Two-Step Authen­ti­ca­tion is a pret­ty stan­dard prac­tice these days. Finan­cial insti­tu­tions such as banks, invest­ment firms and cred­it card com­pa­nies have been using two-step secu­ri­ty for years. If you are unfa­mil­iar with what it is or what it looks like, here is a quick exam­ple. When you go to a site to pur­chase stocks or check out your finan­cial port­fo­lio, chances are two-step authen­ti­ca­tion is turned on. When you type in your user­name, you’ll nor­mal­ly get a text mes­sage or phone call with a 6 to 8 dig­it unique pass­code. This pass­code nor­mal­ly expires in a few min­utes. This helps keep hack­ers out, because they would need access to your mobile device to get that unique pass­code. Click on the links to learn more about two-step for Google Two Step or to see the steps to turn this fea­ture on. If you are man­ag­ing the com­pa­ny’s G Suite account, make sure you make this step manda­to­ry for all users. This is espe­cial­ly impor­tant if you are using Google Dri­ve to store your impor­tant com­pa­ny files. You don’t want a sin­gle employ­ee with this fea­ture turned off and a weak pass­word to be the in” for a hack­er and poten­tial­ly expose your files.

Tip #3: Chang­ing of Pass­words and Check­ing Email For­ward­ing Features

This last tip applies if you already were hacked or you think you might have been hacked. Two quick things to do (besides fol­low­ing the tips above: turn­ing on 2‑Step) is to 1) Change your pass­word and 2) Check your email for­ward­ing fea­tures. Make sure the hack­er did not set­up an email for­ward­ing address. Some­times a hack­er can be tricky by for­ward­ing emails to their account. This will go unde­tect­ed most of the time.

G Suites: OK to Use or Not OK?

One final com­ment about this sub­ject. When your account gets hacked, it is nor­mal to have doubts about the online account you are using. If your Gmail is hacked, you might think, Oh maybe I should be using Microsoft instead?” If you are using Drop­box for file stor­age and get hacked, you might think it is time to look for anoth­er plat­form. Don’t let hack­ers win! Those creeps are always look­ing for ways to access accounts. All online suites or cloud soft­ware are not hack­er proof. Just about every­thing cre­at­ed today has lim­its and is poten­tial­ly vul­ner­a­ble. Remem­ber, back in the day before com­put­er hack­ing was a nor­mal thing, we had to pro­tect our data from phys­i­cal thieves, fire or acts of God.  So don’t pan­ic! Take these steps NOW to help pro­tect your com­pa­ny’s email and file sys­tem! If you get stuck or have a ques­tion, let me know.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


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