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How to Prevent Your Gmail Account Hacked

December 17, 2008
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Kevin from Lifehacker wrote the experience of dealing with hacked Gmail account, one he never thought to happen in his house. Considering his wireless network protected by WPA2 and restricted by MAC, he listed some possible causes in their case:

  • “Open” wireless networks
  • Staying logged in on other computers
  • Phishing attack
  • Not good enough passwords

I sometimes also need to check out my email account via some non-secured wireless points (e.g. free access in the airport) or using the computer other than mine. In the latter case, I feel safer to use the portable Firefox and Thunderbird from my USB stick. I know that’s not enough, if there is already some phishing tool resided in the computer where you plug your USB stick. It just makes me feel safer with my own browser and email program.

Kevin suggested some practices to deal with, and hopefully prevent, this hassle. One of them may not be known to some Gmail users: Gmail Multiple Session Info and Remote Signout (I might read about it in Lifehacker but didn’t thought I’d use it :oops: ). This service will display the IP addresses of all the computer. This will be helpful if you suspect that someone is messing your email account somewhere.

Also be careful of the securirt questions/answers. Some of questions are not really “secure”. They should let users to set up the questions by themselves, instead of those common ones.

Related:

If you are using web mail or doing some financial stuff online, then you should check out this article, “Serious security flaw found in IE“:

Microsoft says it has detected attacks against IE 7.0 but said the “underlying vulnerability” was present in all versions of the browser.

Other browsers, such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome, Safari, are not vulnerable to the flaw Microsoft has identified.

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