A Reminder From A Man In Japan On The Need For Strong Passwords Everywhere

I hope everyone who reads this is already aware of the need to choose hard to guess passwords.

Phrases such as “password”, “letmein”, etc are just not good enough and will lead to your accounts getting hacked at some point down the line. So, hopefully, you use longer passwords that contain numbers, letters and symbols and which don’t spell any words you may find in a dictionary. I certainly do, and I make my passwords quite complex for every account I use one with. And it seems thats just as well considering the email I received from Google in relation to my gmail account today:

email-hack

Lee,

Someone recently tried to sign in to your Google Account, xxxxxxx@gmail.com. We prevented the sign-in attempt in case this was a hijacker trying to access your account. Please review the details of the sign-in attempt:

Sunday, July 1, 2012 4:48:56 AM GMT
IP Address: 221.119.81.187 (dion.ne.jp)
Location: Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan

If you do not recognize this sign-in attempt, someone else might be trying to access your account. You should sign in to your account and reset your password immediately. Find out how at http://support.google.com/accounts?p=reset_pw

Sincerely,

The Google Accounts Team

gmail

Of course, even though I believe my password to be quite secure anyway, I took Google’s advice and changed it, though I logged directly into gmail and didn’t follow any links ;).

The password for your Google Account – xxxxxx@gmail.com – was recently changed.
If you made this change, you don’t need to do anything more.

If you didn’t change your password, your account might have been hijacked.
To
get back into your account, you’ll need to reset your password by clicking this
link:

https://accounts.google.com/RecoverAccount?fpOnly=1&source=ancpe&Email=xxxxxx@gmail.com.

Important account security tips:
– Never give out your password or personal information by email or on social
networks. Google will never contact you to ask you for your password.
– Never use the same password for Google and other websites.
– Add your mobile phone to your account so you can easily pass Google’s security
measures and make it hard for hijackers to get in.

Again, the password I am now using is extremely strong, and so should yours be.

Even though some may argue that my gmail account (and this is an infrequently used and unimportant one) is not particularly interesting to the bad guys, it does undoubtedly contain email that may point people to other information about me that may prove useful to them.

Are you password protecting all of your accounts as well as you could be?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. Luca Arnold says:

    Having a good password really is a must nowadays. Once hacked, the hackers can use the accounts to do whatever they want. That already sounds weird :)

  2. Kyle Allan says:

    Today’s generation, we need to protect our files, emails or any account online just by using password. But, we need to be careful in choosing the latter inorder for us to avoid any problems to our private accounts.

    • Lee Munson says:

      Thats spot on Kyle – passwords need to be both and complex or else they WILL get cracked at some point and that could lead to untold problems.

  3. Noah Devaney says:

    I have different passwords for everything, I have to use a manager to keep track of them all. However, it’s well worth it to minimize the risk of someone hacking my accounts.

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