Google’s email utility, Gmail, has quickly become one of the most popular ways for keeping in touch on the internet. More than just another email server, Gmail is actually a powerful communication tool. Unfortunately, even those who are already using Google for their email needs don’t realize just how many features are literally at their fingertips.
Here’s a look at a few ways to make the most of your Gmail account:
Backup Your Gmail Inbox
Keeping a backup of your email inbox can be a great way to access messages you accidentally got rid of or can simply no longer find. Luckily, Gmail allows you to set up an automatic way to forward all of your messages to another email service. Having a copy of your inbox available in a backup place like Hotmail or Yahoo (or even your Outlook inbox) is a good way to ensure you always have your messages available, and it couldn’t be easier to do.
Start by clicking on the Settings button in the top right corner of your Gmail. From there, simply select Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Next, click on Forward a copy of Incoming Mail. A bar will appear, allowing you to enter your backup email address.
See Who’s Been Accessing Your Account
You can never be too careful with your internet security. If you’re worried that someone you don’t know has been accessing your email, try this simple email security check, available from any screen in Gmail.
Underneath your used and available storage information, you’ll see your last account activity. By clicking on the Details link, you’ll be shown a list of the last 10 IP addresses that have logged into your Gmail account, including location. For example, you might see something says United States (California) followed by the IP address of your home or work computer. If you’re seeing a state that you don’t live in, or even worse a foreign country, you know the time has come to take action. In the next column, you’ll be able to see the type of device that it was accessed from. If you don’t use a mobile device or smart phone to check your email and you see it listed, then chances are also good that someone is accessing your information.
So what do you do if you’re worried about unauthorized activity on your Gmail account? Start by clicking on the link at the top of the page that says Sign out All Other Sessions. This will ensure that the computer you’re currently using is the only one logged on. There is also an Alert button, which allows you to set up a notification system in case of unusual activity. Next, change your password immediately.
Make Use of the Star
Ever come across an email that you know is important or that you will want to get to the next time you log on? If you’re not ready to filter and sort it into a folder, but still want to flag it for future reference, then use Gmail’s easy “star” system.
Simply click on the star next to any email in the Gmail inbox. The star will be highlighted, and the email will remain in the inbox. It can also then be found in the Starred folder, located under Inbox from your Gmail home page.