The headline at CNNMoney was troubling – “A list of 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords appeared on a Russian Bitcoin forum Wednesday”. Yawn…another hack. Buy it was troubling on several fronts–first that so many Gmail passwords had been stolen and were now open for anyone to see or use; and second that no one is exactly sure where the list came from. Google denies their system was breached which leaves one to wonder where the list came from if not from Google. Google spokesperson Caroline Matthews said that “We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised”. Perhaps the list fell off the back of a moving truck…or off Santa’s sleigh.
Gmail users are left wondering if their particular address was exposed and what will or can be done with their email address and password in the hands of those with malicious intent. So, watch for unusual activity in your credit card and bank statements and in your social media. Also, watch your email account for odd messages. Finally…if you have an email account, now would be a good time to change your password, and use a strong one at least 8 characters in length with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Please don’t use your birth date or a common name.
Finally, did you realize that the United States Post Office is still open for business? Once you drop that letter in the mailbox it probably won’t get hacked.