Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Gmail Breach: Eight Tips to Protect Your E-Mail Account

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Gmail Breach: Eight Tips to Protect Your E-Mail Account

Article excerpt

The news this week of a hacker attack against hundreds of prominent users of Google Mail has served up a reminder: The security of digital information is often tenuous, despite many safeguards now in place. What can you do to protect against an invasion of personal information? Here are tips from Google and other privacy experts to make a data breach less likely:

The news this week of a hacker attack against hundreds of prominent users of Google Mail has served up a reminder: The security of digital information is often tenuous, despite many safeguards now in place. What can you do to protect against an invasion of personal information? Here are tips from Google and other privacy experts to make a data breach less likely:

#8 Strong passwords

Use a strong password, and reset it now and then. One common trick to strengthen passwords is to use a mix of lower- and upper- case letters, and to substitute look-alike characters for certain letters in a word. If you have a beagle, your password might be b3aG13.

#7 Use your own bookmarks

Sign in to your account by typing the address for the log-in page manually, or by using a link you've saved yourself, not after linking to a login-page provided by someone else (such as a link in an e-mail you've received). This step might have thwarted the recent hacker attacks. In this case, hackers didn't actually worm their way into a Google's database of users. Instead, the perpetrators seem to have lured people to a fake website that looked close enough to an actual log-in page for Gmail to trick users into typing in their passwords.

#6 Two-step verification

If you're a Gmail user, consider a stepped-up level of security called two-step verification. When you sign up for this, you'll need both your regular password and (periodically) a code that arrives on your phone.

"This campaign, which appears to originate from Jinan, China, affected what seem to be the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users," Google says, "including, among others, senior U. …

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