Google is an amazing company that offers many products and services that make our lives better. For example, Gmail, YouTube, Maps and Android help many people every day. Unfortunately, there is one downside to living in Google's world - having one password.
You see, with Google services, one password gains access to them all by utilising a central account. If your password is exposed, nefarious people can wreak havoc across Google, including your precious Gmail account. Unfortunately, this recently happened to 5 million users and you could be one of them! Don't panic - there is now an app for iOS and Android that can tell you if you are affected.
"On Wednesday, reports of a massive Gmail password breach came to light. Up to 5 million stolen Gmail accounts and passwords were published on a Russian forum. After further analysis, as many as 5 million Gmail addressees as well as 5 million passwords were published. However, it is an important distinction that many of the passwords do not match the Gmail accounts with which they are associated. Google announced that only 1 to 2 per cent of the passwords match and that it has secured those. It has also stated that its systems were not breached in any way", says Avira.
Vinod Varma, head of engineering, R&D; at Avira, explains, "it could be that passwords stolen from previous security breaches such as Adobe or LinkedIn happened to be the same ones that people used for Gmail and the hacker put together different data sets to come up with this list. All 5 million breached Gmail accounts have now been added to Avira's Identity Safeguard database for the public to check their individual email accounts".
Yes, by downloading Avira's free Identity Safeguard for Android or iOS, you can check to see if your Gmail account credentials have been exposed. What makes this solution intriguing, is that it is does not only apply to this specific exposure; Avira is maintaining a database that will alert you of future breaches too.
If your account is on the list, you should immediately change your Google password. If you use that same password on other sites, you should change it there too. With that said, keep in mind, it is a best practice not to share passwords across multiple sites.