Friday, January 30, 2009


A few days ago a friend of mine got his Gmail account hacked into. He's unable to get any of his email and as a result he's had to create a brand new Gmail account. Initially it sounded like a pretty crappy thing to have happened to him, but the more I thought about it having your email account hacked into is pretty much the worst thing ever.

Image waking up one morning and not being able to check your email or access anything you've ever sent or received since creating that account. And if he doesn't act fast enough, his facebook account, his myspace account, his amazon account, and pretty much any online service he signed up for with that address could be toast.

What can you do to prevent something like this from happening to you?

- make sure you log on to your email using the https link instead of http (click here to learn how to automate this)
- make sure your password is a combination of letters and numbers with words that can't be found in a dictionary (Twitter was hacked because the main admin password was "happiness")
- make sure you use difficult security questions (any idiot can find out what school you went to or what your mascot was)

What can you do if your account already is hacked into? Not much. I found these links from the Consumerist and from the NYT that shed a little more light on this topic but in the end there really isn't much you can do after the fact.

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