5 million Gmail passwords leaked; here’s how to protect yourself

Nate Swanner - Sep 10, 2014, 1:16pm CDT
5 million Gmail passwords leaked; here’s how to protect yourself

If you’ve not heard by now, Gmail password have leaked out. On a Russian website known for trafficking this type of thing, about 5 million passwords were left for the world to see, replete with the Gmail account they’re associated with. Sounds scary, but don’t worry — here’s how you protect yourself.

First, put your Gmail into this tool to see if you’ve been compromised. It scrapes the database left on that Russian site to see if your Gmail account is listed. If you’re not, good for you. If you are, that sucks. Either way, you should probably revisit your password, and let this article serve as your reminder to check the security of your passwords.

To check on your Google password (which spans all of your Google-y things, like Gmail), make sure you’re logged into Google. Then, from the Google landing page, click on your cute little picture up top. Click on “account”, then “Security”.

Google Password 1

The first card you’ll see up top is “Password. Click on “Change Password”, and away you go.

If you’re really into being protected, we suggest one (or both) of two things. First, two-step authorization can be helpful in safeguarding your info. That can also be done when you’re on the “Security” page, and it’s right under “Change password”.

You could (should, really) also get yourself a good password locker like 1Password. Not only will it keep track of your passwords, but it suggests some insanely strong passwords you can plug-in easily. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it.

Keep in mind that changing your Google password means you’ll have to re-enter it on your devices, which could render your phone widely useless until you do. even at that, it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

There are varying reports on how or why these passwords were compromised, but it doesn’t really matter. We suggest taking the time to revisit your passwords, as taking measures like the ones we noted here can greatly reduce your risk of being compromised.

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