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Could your Gmail account get hacked?

This may be old news to some of people, but it struck me today how much I rely on Gmail and if my account were to be hacked it would be a very painful event. Apparently there are tools that allow people to hack into Google accounts via sniffing cookies. I am really not one to be paranoid about security for the most part. Out of billions of connections per day to a site like Google, the chances of mine be jeopardized are low, but that said, if there is a simple way to make the process safer, why not?

Make sure HTTPS is enabled

From the Google help page.

We’ve recently made the ‘Always use https’ setting the default behavior in Gmail (the default used to be http). Here’s some background: If you sign in to Gmail via a non-secure Internet connection, like a public wireless or non-encrypted network, your Google account may be more vulnerable to hijacking. Non-secure networks make it easier for someone to impersonate you and gain full access to your Google account, including any sensitive data it may contain like bank statements or online log-in credentials. Accordingly, we enable the ‘Always use https’ option in Gmail by default. HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure protocol that provides authenticated and encrypted communication.

So most of us don’t have to worry, but it might be wise to look up in your address bar and make sure you are accessing Gmail via HTTPS. When I checked mine neither radio was selected. If you want to check yours just go to the settings and look for  “Always use https”. It’s as simple as that, can you feel that warm fuzzy feeling now?

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