Secure Your Google Account with Sign-In and Recovery Methods

By Patrick Baker ~

Recently a client entered an incorrect password for their Google account multiple times and locked themselves out of their account. Fortunately, they had set up multiple sign-in and recovery methods and were able to regain account access quickly. What are sign-in and recovery methods in the Google ecosystem, and how do you set them up?

Adding a Layer of Security

Sign-in and recovery methods allow you to use trusted contact methods like a phone number, an alternate email address, or specific mobile devices to receive security notifications from Google for accessing your account. Typical uses include signing into your account from an unknown device, a forgotten password, or if your account becomes locked. 

Adding a sign-in and recovery method provides additional security so that Google knows it’s you trying to access – or recover access – to your account. It’s easy to set up or modify account sign-in and recovery methods.

Set Up Account Sign-In and Recovery Methods

To set up sign-in and recovery methods for your Google account, you must sign in first. Most people using Google Chrome sign in to their account once and remain signed in. 

  1. Open a new tab.
  2. Click on the nine-dot menu that appears in the upper right corner of the page.
  3. Click Account on the menu.

Your Google Account home page is the launch point for modifying your Google account’s numerous features, including privacy settings, personalization, and security. Setting up account sign-in and recovery methods are in the Security section, accessed by selecting Security from the menu on the left side of the page.

Also, your Google Account home page indicates the security status of your account in the tile on the top right under the welcome message. The security tile states either:

  • Your account is protected OR
  • You have security recommendations

If you’ve never set up sign-in and recovery methods for your account, the security tile displays You have security recommendations. Click Protect your account to add account sign-in and recovery methods.

As recovery methods, you can add a phone number and a different email address than your Gmail account. Redundancy is welcome here, so I recommend supplying a recovery phone number and an email address.

Add a Recovery Phone Number

  1. Click the Add button.
  2. Enter your Google account password.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Click the Add Recovery Phone link.
  5. Enter your phone number.
  6. The default country is the US. Select a different country by clicking the flag.
  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Google displays a prompt informing you it will send a text message to your number for verification.
  9. Click the OK button to continue or click the Cancel button to go back.
  10. Enter the code Google sends to your phone.
  11. Click the Next button.
  12. Google displays the success message.
  13. Click the Done button.

Add a Recovery Email Address

  1. Click the Add button.
  2. Enter your Google account password.
  3. Click the Next button.
  4. Enter an email address from a different account.
  5. Click the Next button.
  6. Enter the code Google sends to your email.
  7. Click the Next button.
  8. Google displays the success message.
  9. Click the Done button.

If you become locked out of your Google account in the future, you can use either of the recovery methods you set up to restore access. Go to the Security section of your Google Account to modify or delete your recovery phone number or email address.

For additional security, consider adding 2-Step Verification to your Google account.

Adding account sign-in and recovery methods is a quick and necessary way to secure your Google account. Take a few minutes to review your Google Account and verify that you have established at least one sign-in and recovery method or make the necessary updates.

Do you have technology questions? Send an email to questions@primeoflifetech.com. Patrick will follow up with you and may use your question in a future edition of this column.

Patrick Baker is an IT consultant and the founder of Prime of Life Tech. To learn more about his services, visit primeoflifetech.com, email info@primeoflifetech.com, or call (720) 319-7145.

Leave a Reply