Tag Archives: Google

Google Passwords Stolen!

Five million Gmail (and therefore Google Account!) passwords were stolen and posted online yesterday.

Use the site haveibeenpwned.com to check your passwords against this and other major breeches.

Protect yourself

This is a great time to update your password and enable two-factor authentication.

Also, if you don’t already do it, start using a password management system. I like using Keepass with DropBox (aff. link), but the most important thing is to start using long (like more than 17 characters!) passwords.

Cloud to Ground Email

Warning: This post is a little link-heavy. Welcome to how I use Teh Interwebz.

I’ve been slowly moving more of my computing into the cloud. I tweet, I blog (duh!), my RSS cup overfloweth, I do online backups of my data, I occasionally use Google Docs, I IM, I Skype, but most of all, I email. And my email client of choice for the last couple years has been Gmail.

Gmail, My Love

I really like the Gmail interface, extensibility (via Firefox extensions like Better Gmail), mailbox size limits, and flexibility of piping many of my other email accounts into my Gmail account so that I can read, respond to, and archive them all from one place. There are, of course, things I don’t love so much about Gmail (why are signatures such a pain in the butt, why can’t you check my other inboxes just a little more frequently, and what (in the name of Harrison Ford) is with your EULA?), but over all, it’s an incredibly useful cloud application, and my daily workflow would be poorer without it.

Trouble in Paradise

In the last 36 hours, I’ve noticed significantly more spam getting in to my Gmail inbox. There are (at least) a couple of pretty good reasons for this. The one that concerns me the least is that a bright spammer (that’s probably not an oxymoron) somewhere made a breakthrough in his/her process that allows the spam to slide past Gmail’s filters. That’s no biggie, because the filter definitions will get updated in a day or two, and life will be good again. My other hypothesis, which is more worrying, is that there’s technical trouble somewhere in the depths of Google’s server farms. There’s no notice of anything amiss at Google’s official marketing site blog, and a little critical thinking about Google’s probable backup strategies implies that my first scenario is significantly more likely. Still, I’m feeling a little nervous.

Cloud to Ground Email

Gmail doesn’t take any responsibility for the safety of the data on its servers. Basically, the EULA says “Use our services at your own risk.” So, pretty much like everywhere else in the computer world, it’s up to each of us to backup our own data.

I did some looking around (ie. consulted the Oracle) and saw that probably the easiest way to make this backup was via Gmail’s IMAP interface using Thunderbird.

I’ve used Thunderbird in the past, and have always appreciated what it can do, but gave it up in favor of Gmail a couple years ago. Now, however, it looks like it can fill a couple blank spots in my emailverse, so it’s back on my computer. Installation and basic setup of Thunderbird is super-easy (as per pretty much all Mozilla tools), but configuring Thunderbird to talk to Gmail via IMAP took a little more time, but everything worked as advertised the first time.

The Final Step

My computer is banging down all my Gmail, and that’s good for backing up my Gmail account. But I also need to backup the stuff on my computer (Murphy’s law would seem to suggest that the moment the Googleplex explodes, a fiery meteorite will plummet from the heavens and annihilate my laptop). So, I guess it’s back to the cloud (ala Mozy) for me.

How Do You Like Yours Cooked?

I’d like to hear how ya’ll set up your email systems. I’m especially curious how Chris, Omar, and Joe do it.

What the Google?

Or, It’s All in a Name

Just on a whim, I decided to see how easy it is to find me on Google without using any variation of “aj” in the search. Shockingly enough, my first hit is #34 and the second one is #39 for the search phrase “van beest.” Apparently, I need to do some SEO for my name. And dang that Van Beest hardware company, anyway! (And yes, I know I’m hurting my SEO efforts here, but the things I’ll do in the name of a mildly interesting post…)