This piece of news might not hit you well at first, but listen up: a fairly large database of over 5 million email accounts and passwords has been leaked. Many of the accounts are of Google origin, though some Russian email services such as Yandex have also been affected.
Speaking on the issue, Google says this leak is not tied to any security breach of their knowledge, and is most likely a collection of passwords that were unfortunately phished through online scams (always check that URL and security certificate before dishing over login information, folks).
As such, many of the passwords in the leaked database are likely to be outdated, or the accounts may have been purged altogether as many of them are pretty old. Some might not even be real. There’s a chance that many of them do still work, though.
Whether you were affected by this or not, it’s always a good idea to do a couple of key things when hearing news like this to make sure your account is secure:
- Change the password, preferably to something with at least 8 characters and a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
- Setup 2-step authorization on your Google account so no one can get in unless they have access to your phone.
That should be enough to put a pretty secure digital padlock on your inbox should you be a bit paranoid about this whole ordeal. There should be little reason to worry for the most part, but it’s always important to stay up to date on issues like these.