What are less secure apps?

IT Services continuously assess IT Security at UCD and inform users of any new developments.

When you log in to use mail, calendar or drive, the login process uses a login username and password for security reasons. When you sign in to a secure third party app, the app will redirect you to google’s sign-in page. you never put your password into a place the app can see directly.

However, some apps and devices use less secure sign-in technology, making your account more vulnerable to cyber attack. These apps include some mail client apps such as Outlook and Thunderbird. The setting is called “less secure apps” and you may not be aware that you have this setting turned on. IT Services recommends that you should turn off the less secure apps setting.

Less Secure Apps

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If you are no longer using an external client to access your email then we would urge you to turn this setting off right away by going to your account security settings page  scroll down until you see the “Less Secure Apps” section and turning off the setting there.
If you are using an external client such as Outlook, we recommend that you consider switching to the Gmail web client and then turning your setting off as described above.

Many users find the transition from Outlook to Gmail a bit challenging. The initial user interfaces are quite different, so it can seem like a big change is needed in order to switch. However, there are a few customisations that can be made to the Gmail interface so that it more closely resembles Outlook and makes the transition easier.

First, let us take a look at a typical Outlook user interface.


Outlook screen



On first glance, it doesn’t look that different but as shown below the Gmail interface can be configured in the same way as Outlook.


GMail configured to look like Outlook

Here you see Gmail with the same elements as Outlook. Folders, Emails and Preview Pane.
Here are the steps to make these customisations.
  1. Under the gear icon choose “Display density” and select the “Compact” view
  2. Under the gear icon choose “Configure inbox” and deselect Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums
  3. Under the gear icon  choose “Settings”
  1. On the General tab, scroll down to “Conversation view” and turn it off
  2. Scroll to the bottom and “Save changes”
  1. Under the gear icon  choose “Settings”
    1. On the Advanced tab, scroll down to “Preview pane” and select Enable
    2. Scroll to the bottom and “Save changes”
  2. Next to the Preview Pane icon choose the down arrow and select “Vertical split”