Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Computer security announcement

Friends, family members, and weird strangers reading my blog: as one of the computer geeks in your life, I must mention that now is a very good time to take two minutes to update your Google Mail account to use secure communication. This will not overtly change your GMail experience, but it might save you the problem of someone stealing your GMail password. It appears that in two weeks a tool will be released that allows bad guys to do exactly that.

If you're like me, you're not too worried about boogeymen reading your email. However, if you're like me, you've got bank accounts and other important financial accounts that are linked to your email account, and a bad guy could possibly reset your bank account password by using your email address. Bad news indeed!

The good news is that updating your GMail account is easy; follow these easy steps.
  1. Log in to GMail.
  2. Click the "settings" link in the upper-right corner of the screen. The link should send you to a screen that shows, among other options, an option called "Browser connection".
  3. Set the browser connection option to "Always use https".
  4. Click the "Save Changes" button.
That's it.

If you don't use GMail but instead use Hotmail or Yahoo, apparently you're screwed. The tool-to-be-released will work against accounts with those email services, and I'm told both Yahoo and Hotmail don't provide a secure communication option.

Obligatory Slashdot link of the day: A Good Reason To Go Full-Time SSL For Gmail.


Rachel said...

Wow - I'm glad you're fighting for the good guys and not the bad, or our world may be screwed! I'll make my changes right now!

Rachel said...

Hey Craig - my gmail notifier does not work after making this security change. Is there anything I can do to fix it?