6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

Break into Gmail: Hacks

About Video Transcript

Hacks: Break into Gmail

3:43 /

We'll show you how attackers can steal your Gmail passwords, and how to stop them.

Recently, Twitter suffered an embarrassment as a hacker obtained quite a bit of confidential information and passed it along to tech news sites. Apparently, the hacker accessed a Twitter employees' Gmail account and used that to gain access to Google Docs, company systems, and more. The employee most likely thought they had proper security protections in place. I�m Tom Merritt from CNET.com, and I�ll show you how the Gmail account got cracked, and how you can take better care to protect your Gmail account. Obviously, you should start by picking a strong password that�s not a dictionary word or easily guessable. But that password is only as strong as Google's password recovery system. Google allows three methods to recover your password. E-mail, SMS, and the vaunted "security question." Three methods an attacker could use to gain entry to your account. Go to settings, choose Accounts, and click on Google Account Settings. Then click "Change password recovery options." The e-mail recovery method tripped up the Twitter employee. In this method, if you forget your password, you can specify an e-mail account where a password- reset link can be sent. This is common practice in Web services. Allegedly, the Twitter employee had their recovery account set to a Hotmail account that was deactivated. The hacker was able to guess what the e-mail had been, reregister the account, and was able to get the password reset link sent to the Hotmail account. How do you protect yourself against that? Well make sure you have a valid e-mail account listed as your secondary account, and make sure that account has solid security protection. Or better yet, don�t use this method. Just leave the secondary e-mail account blank. You have two other methods to choose from. Method two is SMS. This is fairly secure, since any attacker would have to get access to your phone, or at least be near enough to intercept text messages to your phone number to steal your password. While this isn�t impossible, it�s a taller order. Of course, it also means you have to have a phone with a text messaging plan. Still this is my favored method. Method No. 3 is my least favorite. The Security Question. This is where a lot of people fail. If you make the answer to your security question something guessable or easy to find out, then the strength of your password won�t matter. Google suggests a few hard to guess things like your first phone number or Dad�s middle name. But while they may be hard, all of these are discoverable. Thankfully, Google lets you write your own question. I think you should treat this security question like another password. Write your own question and make the answer something entirely unguessable. Like What have you never told anyone else about? Answer: 5623break. Yes, that may be hard to remember, but it�s very secure. Unfortunately, they don't let you leave this field blank, so at best you can fill it with nonsense information. No system is 100 percent secure and obviously the most secure method here would be to provide no way to recover your password. However, if that�s too strict for you, now you have some information to help you choose where in that balance between protection and convenience you land. Stay safe out there. I�m Tom Merritt, CNET.com.

New releases

Gesture-enabled touchpad fits on your thumbnail (Tomorrow Daily 164)
24:28 April 20, 2015
On today's show, Khail and Ashley discuss MIT's new mini touchpad and where you might use it, a learning project called zSpace that...
Play video
How to navigate the Apple Watch in 10 helpful moves
2:59 April 20, 2015
Two buttons, a microphone and a force-sensitive screen: here are the ways to make the Apple Watch do things quickly and efficientl...
Play video
Android Wear adds Wi-Fi support, wrist gestures
2:49 April 20, 2015
Google's smartwatch software update introduces new features to battle the Apple Watch. Meanwhile, a Quirky security measure bricks...
Play video
4 cool new things about emojis in iOS 8.3
1:33 April 20, 2015
We'll show you all the new tricks you can do with emoji symbols in iOS 8.3.
Play video
Which is better: Star Trek or Star Wars?
6:18 April 20, 2015
CNET's Luke Westaway and Rich Trenholm ask which of the two greatest geek franchises deserves the top spot.
Play video
Smarter driver: How to spot counterfeit car parts
1:38 April 20, 2015
Brian Cooley tells you what you need to know to avoid buying bogus auto parts.
Play video
Sony's newest $1,500 sound bar offers Bluetooth headphone listening
0:44 April 20, 2015
Sony's HT-ST9 sound bar is the company's newest flagship at $1,499 and it offers some unique features such as support for Bluetooth...
Play video
Mini's concept begins where Google Glass left off
1:51 April 19, 2015
The carmaker's Augmented Vision is a new concept projecting information, navigation and safety information onto a set of glasses.
Play video