I’ve had my Gmail account since 2003, and it’s been such an awesome web-based email service. It’s got tons of storage space, privacy options, plus the High Score theme changes from day to night with the time (*cough* Star Wars Gmail theme, please *cough*). But right now, I’m a little paranoid about its security. According to The Gadget Blog at EveryJoe.Com, there’s been a massive leak of web-based e-mail passwords by phishers. As many as 20,000 passwords from several webmail providers like Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and AOL web mail were leaked.
So why should you be worried about a leaked password? For many of us, our email accounts are the foundations of our online social life and sometimes, our livelihood. If you gain access to someone’s webmail account, you can also access important accounts like Paypal, online banking, as well as social networking accounts. It’s also easier to achieve identity theft when you have control over a person’s email.
I’m not sure about other webmail providers, but there seems to be no immediate threat for most Gmail users. Based on this statement from Google, I think they’ll inform you if your Gmail account’s security has been compromised and ask you to change your password.
“As soon as we learned of the attack, we forced password resets on the affected accounts. We will continue to force password resets on additional accounts when we become aware of them.”
Just the same, everyone should take extra measures to protect their passwords. Try using different passwords for different accounts, and make sure you clear the cache if you check your email on a different computer.