Internet Safer Day was last week on Tuesday, February 5th. To celebrate, Google spent the entire week covering a variety of topics relating to being safe online (you can check out their series of articles here). For users who have Google accounts, one thing that you can and should do on a regular basis is perform a Security Checkup on all of your Google accounts.
Google’s Security Checkup is a three-step process where you will be asked to check on three important areas of your account safety:
Third-party access: This is the list of sites, apps, and services that have access to some of the personal information found in your account. Sources that you haven’t used in a while may no longer need access and can be removed, and if you see an entry you don’t recognize or don’t remember giving permission to access your account should most definitely have their access revoked.
Recent security events: This drop-down list will show any recent requests to connect to your account. Again, if you don’t recognize a request then your account may be at risk.
It is a good idea to perform a Security Checkup on your Google account about once a month, and if you have more than one account (e.g. a professional account for work and a personal account) then don’t forget to run the Security Checkup on each one. For other web accounts, it would be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the security options that they provide:
WeVideo is proving to be the video production tool that may meet the needs of our students and teachers. In the past our school found itself in a 1-to-1 environment outfitted with various Apple devices from laptops to iPads with iMovie being our go-to tool. Now half of my students are using Chromebooks where iMovie can’t go, but WeVideo can and its compatible with both Apple’s OS and iOS platforms (i.e. it’s web-based for the laptops and they have an iPad app too). And, WeVideo supports sign-in with Google which works for us since we are a GSuite for Education district.
This is all well and good, but to truly know if WeVideo can cut it in today’s classroom I needed to get students and teachers into the app and see what it can do. So I put together a tutorial to help them get setup in the app and begin creating video content.
If you’re a student then click the green Submit button to finish. If you’re an educator then click the green Next button to continue.
For Educators, when prompted continue to provide the following information…
Select your role
Grade level(s) taught [optional]
Click the green Next button to continue
Enter school name if asked, or…
Enter Location and Region information (this is to help match the appropriate assistance team to you in case you need assistance)
Click the green Submit button to finish
And that’s it, you’re in! In future posts I will explore some of the features found in WeVideo. Some will be available to users on any account while others may be available only to subscription accounts, just to tease you a little bit.
Device and account security are both critical components to anyone who uses technology. The past few weeks have centered around this topic with tips that covered how to keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date. For my final post in this series, we will examine how to access and review the activity on our mail account.
Part 4: Gmail Activity Information
Many of us login to our Gmail account from multiple devices, sometimes even from “shared” devices like a computer lab terminal or shared workstation. When this does happen, do you make sure that you sign-out of your account each time? Google provides a way to examine your Gmail account activity and, more importantly, force logout of all Gmail sessions that may still be active.
Open the Gmail app
Scroll to the bottom of your window and in the bottom-right corner locate the heading “Last account activity” and click on the Details link.
Here you can review the activity displayed. If anything looks suspicious, then you can click the ‘Sign out all other web sessions’ to force sign-out of your Google account on all devices that have been used to access your mail account.
It is highly recommended that at this point you consider changing your account password to prevent any future unauthorized access.
Before closing the window, scroll down to the bottom and locate the “Alert preference” heading. By clicking the ‘change’ link, you can configure this setting to notify you if any unusual activity is detected in the future.
Device and account security are both critical components to anyone who uses technology. The past few weeks have centered around this topic with tips that cover how to keep your Chromebook secure and up-to-date as well as how to make sure your account and private information are safe.
Part 3: Account Checkup
Conducting a periodic security checkup of your Google account allows you to review devices that have connected to your account, disable account access for apps whose sign-in protocols may not be up-to-date, and check that only the apps and websites that you have authorized have access to your account.
From any Google App, go to the top-right corner of the window and click on your account avatar.
From the pop-up window, click on the ‘My Account’ button.
Under Sign-in & security, look for the Security Checkup tool and click the GET STARTED link to begin.
Once inside of the Security Checkup, you will be asked to review three important account settings:
Check your connected devices – View a list of all of the devices that have accessed your Google account. If you recognize all of the devices on the list, then everything “Looks good.” If you see a device that you do not recognize, then click the “Something looks wrong” button and you will be prompted to change your account password.
Disable access for less secure apps – One of the features your Google account has is its ability to interface with different apps and services. However, not all of these use secure sign-in technology. This setting allows you to deny these less secure apps and services access to your account.
Check your account permissions – This setting asks you to review ALL apps, websites, and services that have access to your account. For each item listed you can examine what account information it has access to, when authorization was granted, and the option to remove it from the approval list. If you need to access one of these services later on, then you can grant them access to your account again.
Performing a security checkup on your Google account on a regular basis, perhaps once a month, is a good way to stay informed with where your account is being used and who it is interacting with.