Google Password “Leak”: What you need to know and what to do next

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It was reported that 5 million Gmail Account passwords have been leaked and it raised concerns if our online accounts have been compromised. The reality is there’s no breach on Google’s part and according to them only 2% of the combinations worked. However that doesn’t mean there’s no reason to panic.

The list of email addresses and passwords were reported to be obtained from 3rd party websites but without naming the exact source. If you use a different set of passwords other than your Google account, you should be fine. However knowing that there are people that use the same passwords across all sites, it is best to change them especially crucial accounts including Banking, Email and Social Networking.

There are a couple of ways to check if your login and password has been compromised. This tool from KnowEM helps to verify if your gmail account is affected. Take note that these are 3rd party sites and it isn’t clear if your submission will be recorded. For those who have checked it out have mentioned that the password lists were quite old and it shouldn’t be an issue if you’ve changed passwords frequently. Again, if you’ve been using the same set of password for everything since ages ago, it is best to change all of them now.

For Google, there’s a better way of securing your account by using 2 Step authentication. This adds another layer of security by sending an SMS to your mobile for verification each time you log in using a new browser or a device. Similar to online bank, you’ll receive a pin number which will be required during sign in. If it is your own private machine, you can set it to recognise your login permanently. What if you need to login without a mobile device? There’s even an option to print out an emergency pin number which you can store somewhere safe. To set up 2-step authentication, head over here.

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