Your Gmail Account Can Be Hacked. Here's How to Protect It...

by Jesus Perez 100 replies
From Slashdot:

"A tool that automatically steals IDs of non-encrypted sessions and breaks into Google Mail accounts has been presented at the Defcon hackers' conference in Las Vegas. Last week, Google introduced a new feature in Gmail that allows users to permanently switch on SSL and use it for every action involving Gmail, not just authentication. Users who did not turn it on now have a serious reason to do so, as Mike Perry, the reverse engineer from San Francisco who developed the hacking tool, is planning to release it in two weeks."

The solution is to set Permanent SSL in Gmail
  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
  3. Set 'Browser Connection' to 'Always use https.'
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. Reload Gmail.
Note: People with Gmail Notifier will need to download a patch. Details.

Mobile/Firefox Users: I will make the immediate assumption that enabling permanent SSL will break all mobile access/apps and Firefox plugins. Edit: Palm T|X browser works, Palm TREO browser works, Gmail manager in FF3 works.

This is especially important for anyone using unsecured WiFi networks or anyone residing in buildings with unsecured networks. Although you may not know it, your wifi connection may jump on unsecured networks without your knowing. This has happened to me many times. This will put you at risk.

While you're at it, update that password. And throw in a few weird characters and numbers. Something like 'W@rri0rF0rum" goes a long way.

EDIT: Palm T|X works, Palm TREO works, Gmail manager in FF3 works.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #account #gmail #hacked #protect
  • Profile picture of the author 1inamillion
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Ryan_Taylor
      Thanks for the tip. Now which one of my 23 Gmail accounts should I start with?
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      • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
        Wow, interesting stuff. Thank you very much for sharing this. Gmail rules!

        Matt
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        WarriorForum Rules!

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        • Profile picture of the author Stuart Stirling
          Thanks, just did it.

          I got my Skype account hacked once and it was a nightmare.
          If my Gmail got hacked, I'd be really up S___ creek....

          Stuart
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        • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
          Earlier this month I was hacked into my adwords account via my gmail name and it was well over 5g charges put in in just a day.

          I have been going "organic" and haven't even checked that account, so I received no notifications in my real email that I use.

          Here is a little something to look at:

          You can protect yourself from account hijacking in the future by following
          these tips:

          1. Don't reply to, or click links within, emails that ask for personal,
          financial, or account information.
          2. Check the message headers. The 'From:' address and the 'Return-path'
          should reference the same source.
          3. Instead of clicking the links in emails, go to the websites directly by
          typing the web address into your browser, cut and paste, or use bookmarks.
          4. If on a secure page, look for "https" at the beginning of the URL and
          the padlock icon in the browser.
          5. Use a browser that has a phishing filter (Firefox, Internet Explorer,
          or Opera).
          6. Use strong passwords. A strong password should be unique; include
          letters, numbers, and symbols; and be changed regularly.
          7. If you ever need to change your account information, such as your
          billing details or your password, you should always sign in to your
          account from the main AdWords login page (https://adwords.google.com) and
          make the changes directly within your account. For more information on
          changing your username and password, read our Help Center article at
          How do I change my Google Account email and/or password? - Google AdWords Help Center.
          8. To protect your computer from malware, keep your computer's antivirus,
          spyware, browser, and security patches up to date and regularly run system
          scans. If you need more information about software that can help detect
          and remove malware from your computer, please visit
          Strange Behavior and Malicious Software : Strange pop-ups, toolbars, redirects, or results - Web Search Help Center.
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          • Profile picture of the author valerieSONORA
            Wow I didn't know there were really hackers conferences. Is there a hacker's association or something?

            I remember seeing the set to https: in the settings.

            If someone hacked into my account they would be very disappointed.
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Mason
              Yes, thank you very much for this. I use Gmail as my primary account and don't know what I would do if a hacker got to me. Thanks for the info, I'll try to implement it right now!
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              • Profile picture of the author Solidsnake
                Banned
                Thanks for the information.. I am using gmail as my main email in outlook.
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            • Profile picture of the author bhlehr
              Originally Posted by annoyedgirl View Post

              Wow I didn't know there were really hackers conferences. Is there a hacker's association or something?
              Yes, there are hacker associations, and there's the annual hacker convention (Defcon) in Vegas; there's also monthly hacker meetings in some places, and they have their own magazines as well (ie: "2600" is the of one of them).

              Now there's a niche for you! :-)

              Brian
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              • Profile picture of the author abelacts
                really useful tips. thanks for sharing.
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                • Profile picture of the author Fabian Tan
                  Cool tip

                  Fabian
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                  • Profile picture of the author Pete Egeler
                    8000 thieves hold a get-together in Vegas, and not a cop in sight!

                    Meanwhile, they're screaming "First Amendment" when a judge puts a halt to them telling members how to hack into the MTB to get free passes.

                    The country's going to hell in a handbasket!

                    Pete
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                    • Profile picture of the author calvin69
                      Originally Posted by Pete Egeler View Post

                      8000 thieves hold a get-together in Vegas, and not a cop in sight!

                      Meanwhile, they're screaming "First Amendment" when a judge puts a halt to them telling members how to hack into the MTB to get free passes.

                      The country's going to hell in a handbasket!

                      Pete
                      Actually, the conference is put on by the CIA... no joke... in fact most of the conference participants are CIA. This is not a conspiracy theory... it's a fact.

                      That's why no one gets rounded up or why 8,000 thieves gather in one place.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Raych
                        I know whereof I speak...It happened to me over the weekend. Fortunately, I check my adwords campaigns religiously. The hacker got into my gmail account first... then into my adwords account, replaced my ads and keywords in one...only one... of my adgroups. He kept the adgroup name intact, hoping I wouldn't notice. Good thing I checked my ads and keywords, otherwise, he would still be advertising at my expense. So make sure you look deep inside your accounts, not just your campaigns. You could be feeding a parasite without even knowing it!

                        Raych
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                        • Profile picture of the author IM Ace
                          Thanks for the info BlueSquares- great help!
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                          Allen, this post should be STICKY
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              • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
                Originally Posted by bhlehr View Post

                Yes, there are hacker associations, and there's the annual hacker convention (Defcon) in Vegas; there's also monthly hacker meetings in some places, and they have their own magazines as well (ie: "2600" is the of one of them).

                Now there's a niche for you! :-)

                Brian
                Yes.. so true.

                I know a guy, a good guy, that goes to these, then comes back and tells everyone at his company how to protect themselves. Your Wi Fi (wireless) is one example. If you have it unsecured anyone can use it and listen in on your traffic.

                Passwords are another. There are programs than can try every word combination in the dictionary and finally get your password. He got into a locked computer I aquired in about 3 minutes. The password was nebwt240. He said it it were nebwt!D3$0O or something with special characters it would have taken him hours and hours. Something to consider.
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      • Profile picture of the author braver55b
        Originally Posted by Ryan_Taylor View Post

        Thanks for the tip. Now which one of my 23 Gmail accounts should I start with?
        I'm with you Ryan, I have so many gmail accounts and this post by bluesquares is really eye opening.
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      • Profile picture of the author rmholla
        Originally Posted by Ryan_Taylor View Post

        Thanks for the tip. Now which one of my 23 Gmail accounts should I start with?

        I only did one account and it automatically registered with all of the ones I checked right away.


        Rhonda
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  • Profile picture of the author britelite
    Wow, thanks for sharing this info..appreciate it!
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  • Thanks for sharing. I've just set it up *and* changed my passwords.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oland
    Thank you for the tip!

    While you're at it, backup your Gmail NOW using this free program: Gmail Backup
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    • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
      Pretty sad that these people ('er animals) can live with themselves. Thanks to people like you, we can stay up on stuff like this and protect ourselves ... thanks for the info.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Collins
      When I was creating passwords I didn't think I had a pattern that might be picked up on. I keep my passwords in a few different places depending on what they are for. There was a lot of text like notes and other stuff. I decided to make a list of just the user/pass. These are in notebooks and the like not on my computer. There's a lot of them so it wasn't at the top of any to do list. When I finally got around to it and looked I saw repetitive patterns. Not what I wanted to see.

      So now instead of making them up myself I loggin to one of my cpanels and use the change password thing. The kind where it will generate a random mixed 12 character password for you and tells you the strength of security.

      I go in and generate a few dozen at a time and copy the down. Then I have a list I can reference when I need a new password. If you need more than 12 characters you can use 2 together for a 24 character password or more. Use 1 and a half or any combination.

      I have a site I go to that requires above average everything. I need to change passwords often. Not a choice they make you. They don't accept anything near weak and until you input something they like you're stuck. I don't get stuck any more.

      People tend to meet the mixed character recommendation but then use characters that are easy for them to remember or easy to type or easy to find on the keyboard. Using a random generator eliminates that.
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      • Profile picture of the author AgileHosting
        Originally Posted by John Collins View Post

        I loggin to one of my cpanels and use the change password thing. The kind where it will generate a random mixed 12 character password for you and tells you the strength of security.
        John, isn't that a great tool? I have become a BIG fan of it as well -- I am really glad that cPanel added it.


        Also wanted to say "thank you" for the tip on Gmail Backup. Very interesting utility, looks like it would be very good if it works as promised.

        Cheers,

        Bailey
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    • Profile picture of the author bhlehr
      Originally Posted by Oland View Post

      Thank you for the tip!

      While you're at it, backup your Gmail NOW using this free program: Gmail Backup
      When using Gmail, all of your emails are archived on their servers. So technically, they're already backed up. What would be the purpose of your program to "back up Gmail", other than to have an "extra" backup.

      Sounds like a great program; I just wanted a little clarification.

      Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
    Thank you thank you. I didn't know about this.
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    • Profile picture of the author MizzCindy
      Very useful post. Thank you!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael T.
        Thanks for the tip!I would give you + rep if there was a option to do this.
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        Regards...Michael T.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
    I greatly appreciate this tip. I got it done right away.

    Jeannie
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  • When I first saw this warning, I ignored it out of fear that doing whatever it recommended would screw up my Windows Live Mail reader.

    I was wrong. I did it and everything works like it should.

    Go ahead, make sure your GMail account is secure!
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  • Profile picture of the author KEY
    thanks for the heads-up!

    changed all of my passwords...been so long that most had 6-7 characters, and google now wants 8 as the minimum. so it was time to 'upgrade' the passwords anyhow.

    wild about the convention! flaunting it in public? a huge meeting of people there to learn how to break the law and steal using the net...sometimes freedom is a bit too free!
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  • Profile picture of the author Chirag
    Great tip mate! Thanks for sharing!


    Chirag Gohel
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    • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
      I had signed up for a gmail email account but never used it (never liked the interface). I remember my login for gmail was totally different from that of my google account (adsense, adwords, etc). So, if someone was able to hack into my gmail account, they wouldn't be able to get to the rest.

      So, how are these people hacking your gmail accounts and then moving on to adwords, domain registrars, etc??? Are you keeping welcome emails that have your login in your email accounts?

      NEVER keep any email in any email account that provides login information to any program or website. In fact, I do not keep any of that information on my computer - pen and paper do just fine.

      Seems gmail has been pretty vulnerable as I've seen several people mention it in this thread and others. Glad I never went with it.
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      • Profile picture of the author nursehoney
        While I love this age of technology we live in...it sometimes makes this old broad long for the 'good old days'...back when people respected each other...trusted each other...and didn't have to try to stay one step ahead of thieves, lowlifes and their ilk.

        As far as changing emails, is there really a point? If they can hack into one, isn't is just a matter of time before they can hack into any of them?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
        Originally Posted by Barbara Eyre View Post

        So, how are these people hacking your gmail accounts and then moving on to adwords, domain registrars, etc??? Are you keeping welcome emails that have your login in your email accounts?
        They request password resets. Then it's over. You lose complete control of whatever you were signed up to.
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        • Profile picture of the author Barbara Eyre
          Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

          They request password resets. Then it's over. You lose complete control of whatever you were signed up to.
          Well .... for major accounts, I use different email addresses. That way, if one gets hacked ... chances are slim to none they can gain access to anything else.

          Just hate that people spend their lives ruining other people's lives for a quick thrill or to steal hard-earned money and reputations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenneth Maddux
    Thank you, For the good information, For I will be making some changes tonight. Kenneth Maddux
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  • Profile picture of the author bimawarrior
    Thanks for the tips Blue!

    Hendra
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    • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
      OK...I'm gonna jump in this thread one final time just for shits and giggles and ask one question no one wants to answer:

      If an entire thread on the Warrior Forum is devoted to the fact that GMAIL is easier to hack then a two dollar hooker........WHY?

      Why not maybe consider dumping GMAIL all together????

      I realize this is a radical concept.....a logical concept...that escapes many....and I aint the smartest guy in the world....but please someone explain ot me why you'se people would rather be reactive...rather then proactive.

      The amount of time you'se people spend trying to put sand bags in front of your drowning email accounts...could be better spent....JUST GETTING A NEW EMAIL ACCOUNT! hello!!!!! Cuz truth is...I aint ever been hacked....on AOL...Yahoo...or the poor mans version of both...HotMail!!! How ya like that!

      To me...if you'se are getting hacked...it's on you. And if you'se wanna waste a life time trying to out hack the hackers.....then you have too much time on your hands.

      Cuz if Vinnie here ever gets hacked.....I'm not lookin' for help...I'm switchin' to Hot Mail or whatever.

      My God...it's an email address.....not the holy grail.

      Once they hack you....get a new one. Period. End of story. Move on. Cuz life will move on.

      Why waste time, effort, and a lifetime trying to solve the riddle??? Why try and out slick a hacker who is obviously way smarter then you!

      Why not just...move on? Get a new email????

      I don't get this thread? Makes no sense. It's not helpfull...it's hurtfull...cuz it basically tells people that GMAIL is vulnerable and screwed....but we have ways to maybe make it safe. And yet the thread keeps appearing over and over and over and over and over!

      That's not an endorsement. That's a shame.

      Shame.

      Thanks to this thread.....I wouldn't use GMAIL...if my friggin' life depended on it...for real.

      So I guess I should thank all of you loyal followers who keep beating your heads into a hard oak tree.

      xxx Vegas Vince
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  • Profile picture of the author James Turner
    Thanks for the tip for upgrading my security.

    I use Gmail for subscribing to newsletters and ezines, but I wouldn't use it for sensitive information such as login details.

    Although at the end of the day, unless you use encrypted email nothing can be really secure!

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author James Turner
    Vince,

    If you laugh at people who agree with you.. I'd hate to have a real argument with you.

    It isn't a perfect world.. NOTHING is secure.

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
      Originally Posted by James Turner View Post

      Vince,

      If you laugh at people who agree with you.. I'd hate to have a real argument with you.

      It isn't a perfect world.. NOTHING is secure.

      James

      Yeah....you're right.

      But apparantly GMAIL....IS LESS SECURE THEN MOST.

      How do I know that?

      This thread has over 2 thousand views!

      And hate to break it to ya....it aint about AOL...Verizon....HotMail or etc.

      So you tell me why I SHOULD FEEL GOOD about GMAIL?

      Tell me why....that sometimes....tossing in the towel and moving on is better then making excuses and threads for some entity that obviously doesn't do too good a job of protecting it's customers. Capiche.

      This thread tells me I'm not too far off base.


      xxx Vegas Vince

      Whatever....GMAIL...TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT.
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      • Profile picture of the author Heather Vale
        Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

        Yeah....you're right.

        But apparantly GMAIL....IS LESS SECURE THEN MOST.

        How do I know that?

        This thread has over 2 thousand views!

        And hate to break it to ya....it aint about AOL...Verizon....HotMail or etc.

        So you tell me why I SHOULD FEEL GOOD about GMAIL?

        Tell me why....that sometimes....tossing in the towel and moving on is better then making excuses and threads for some entity that obviously doesn't do too good a job of protecting it's customers. Capiche.

        This thread tells me I'm not too far off base.


        xxx Vegas Vince

        Whatever....GMAIL...TO YOUR HEARTS CONTENT.
        The reason this thread has so many views is because Gmail completely blows away all those second and third-rate services you're talking about.

        Who knows how secure the others are? But their functionality for organizing an IM biz are not even close to what Gmail does.

        I would have to assume you've never used it, or you wouldn't keep asking these questions!

        cheers
        Heather
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        • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
          Originally Posted by Heather Vale View Post

          The reason this thread has so many views is because Gmail completely blows away all those second and third-rate services you're talking about.

          Who knows how secure the others are? But their functionality for organizing an IM biz are not even close to what Gmail does.

          I would have to assume you've never used it, or you wouldn't keep asking these questions!

          cheers
          Heather




          Heather....

          You're right.........Gmail....definitely "blows."

          And you're right again...I wouldn't ever use it. Thanks to threads like this...I never will.

          That's based on the numerous threads....that continue to mention issues like...ahhhh...."hacking."

          And the fact there continues to be thread after thread about how it's vulnerable to hackers.....leads me to believe that maybe....just maybe.....I'm not quite as stupid as you'se think I am.

          See...I haven't been hacked on those "other emails"....that aint ever gonna be as good as "Gmail."

          LOL.

          True.


          xxx Vegas Vince
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  • Profile picture of the author James Turner
    OK, I get it.

    You don't like Gmail
    You don't use Gmail
    You just like to stir the pot.

    Your shot gun approach can't be all that effective.. you keep hitting the guy who agrees with you.

    It doesn't look as though anyone else is listening. LOL

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author VegasVince
      Originally Posted by James Turner View Post

      OK, I get it.

      You don't like Gmail
      You don't use Gmail
      You just like to stir the pot.

      Your shot gun approach can't be all that effective.. you keep hitting the guy who agrees with you.

      It doesn't look as though anyone else is listening. LOL

      James



      James....LOOOOL to you'se and your 18 posts...piggybackin' off me.

      I don't need a shot gun approach to tell the truth.

      I've been around ya know?

      And I'd be happy to GMAIL THAT TO YOU'SE.....BUT IT WOULD PROBABLY GET HACKED...NEWBIE.

      XXX Vegas Vince

      Legend.
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      • Profile picture of the author James Turner
        Originally Posted by VegasVince View Post

        James....LOOOOL to you'se and your 18 posts...piggybackin' off me
        You have a very big opinion of yourself - but please don't flatter yourself, I don't need to piggyback of you. I'm perfectly capable of standing up for myself and making my points in a professional way.

        And I'd be happy to GMAIL THAT TO YOU'SE.....BUT IT WOULD PROBABLY GET HACKED...NEWBIE.
        That's it, go for the personal insults.. it might make you feel good but I'm not stooping to your level.

        You have no idea about my background, you make the classic assumption that a low post count = inexperience.

        James
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  • Profile picture of the author johnymartin11
    Thanks for your alert man. You save our account. My whole family switched to Gmail recently and I think this precaution will save us. Some time negative energy is more powerful than positive energy.

    Thanks once again
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  • Profile picture of the author NewBeing
    I've discovered a really easy way to back up gmail...

    Open a yahoo email account and use their trueswitch option to import your gmail emails and contacts... its really easy to do, just press the "import your contact" box on the right hand side of the screen and yahoo will walk you through it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joshua N. Rabon
    Just did it.
    Thanks a bunch........A hackers conference, WOW...whoda thunk it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Hoffman
    Hasn't session jacking been around since the start of the internet, o wait it has!
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  • Profile picture of the author moodyresources
    Really glad I found this thread! Thanks for all the great information everyone.
    Melissa
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  • Profile picture of the author Augydog
    Thanks for the tip Blue Squares, just changed it.

    VS
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  • Profile picture of the author sinemra
    Thanks for the info to secure the account. Guess I'll be changing the password a little more regularly now
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkMcDonald
    Great Post. All my accounts are now protected
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    • Profile picture of the author GayleT
      Thank you for all this info -- gave me a wake up call!

      Will get to work to change my horribly easy passwords.

      Gayle
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  • Profile picture of the author tecHead
    seemed appropriate to bump this thread due to some of the threads, as of late about gMail...
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  • Profile picture of the author dhtw
    Another tip: GMail now introduces authentication via SMS. Be sure to sign up for it. It will be handy when you lose your password or having to reset it due to hacking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Neil12
    Thanks for the info, gmail has a lot of uses, so i think ill try and protect it rather than switch mails
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  • Profile picture of the author TheChanger
    Thanks for the tip! I will change my Gmail settings ASAP.
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  • Profile picture of the author anthon
    Thanks for the tips.
    I will do the setup.
    I think Google should make some changes for this , so that peoples don't knowing about this tips can also be safe.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeff Henshaw
      Anyone getting hacked via GMAIL....you deserve it.
      ANYTHING can be hacked, not just Gmail.

      Thanks to the OP. I've changed to the secure server and changed the passwords on my four main Gmail accounts. The rest of my Gmail accounts are of limited impotance.

      It's very good of you to share this information.

      Regards,
      Jeff.
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  • Profile picture of the author dika
    Hi,

    The original post is outdated and is no longer helpful because Gmail already switched all accounts to SSL only, so all sessions are encrypted.
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