Good news I can finally share

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A couple of days ago I got the official "all clear" from J&M to publicly write on the blog that they're expecting a first baby around February 2009. I had posted it before, but that was before everyone knew, so I pulled that one real fast :)

Something different now : if you use Gmail, make sure you have set it to always use SSL. If you are not certain on how to do it, or why you should, read on. Open your Gmail account and go to "settings". Then scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Browser connection: Always use https". Make sure you update this setting for all your Gmail accounts. Always log out of your account when you're done (not just when changing settings).

Forcing the browser to always use a secure connection will help prevent unauthorized access or even identity theft. Check the support entry for SSL on Gmail here : Enabling the HTTPS setting.

5 Comments

settings changed :-)
funny how they say "it may make gmail a bit slower" while it's already superslow when opening (or at least I think it is)

anywho, J&M, again congratulations!!! (you still need to get those from me personally but I guess that might still have to a wait some weeks)

What do you mean with identity theft?
I already had that suddenly I'm logged out and I am scared someone else logged in on my account, have I got the right to be scared?

Jody,

I'm not in a position to state whether or not your sudden log out was a result of hacking attempt, or just a technical issue that disrupted anything, but at the Defcon Hackers Conference a tool was presented that allows people with malicious intent to steal credentials of non-encrypted gmail sessions, which would give them access to your gmail account. While this tool is - as far as I know - not yet available, no doubt it will be soon, making the risk of being targeted increase.

I don't know how you personally use mail, but quite often passwords, login ID's and such are stored in a mail, which would not only leave those open for browsing to the hacker, but they could also pose as you and post or mail things in your name.

Do you have to be scared? The time that the web was a safe place is long gone and while it may seem a lot less unsafe these days, that is partially due to increased attention to exploits and potential risks. You are simple made more aware of the issues at hand.

If you'd like some pointers as to what tools I'd suggest using, click on the Security Alert, vulnerabilities or security tag at the bottom of this post. It'll give you all related posts.

One thing no hacker can circumvent though is common sense. Think before you open something, make sure you use secure passwords (your screen name with a number before, in or after it is not secure!), make sure you log out before leaving the machine etc.

Common sense should be your basic line of defense. The rest are but technological measures that may slow down things, but sooner or later those will be bypassed.

Thank you for the information, I really appreciate it :)
The problem is though that I sit behind the computer all day long while I am logged in gmail constantly.
Logging in is a problem for me since I can't type that well, so I can't log in and log out every time.
Even on my blog I can't type myself as I asked my readers to come up with a free version of an on screen keyboard, it has got to be free because I am getting an adapted keyboard sometime, but I guess you know Belgium, it's far too slow.

I don't know how good the following solutions are, but a quick search points me to Click-N-Type Virtual Keyboard or Virtual On-Screen Keyboard.

Find the sites at http://www.lakefolks.org/cnt/ and http://www.march-of-faces.org/resources/vkt.html

The information regarding logging out was mostly for those who access their accounts on a public computer, or over an network that is not secured. As long as it happens from your personal machine, I think there is less of an issue. If after all they have access to your personal machine, the password for your gmail account won't make that much a difference anymore.

Suggestion : if you leave the computer, lock it. If you have a hard time typing, you could opt for biometric solutions to gain access (face or voice recognition, or fingerprinting) to lessen the burden.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on August 19, 2008 11:56 PM.

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