You might have heard about the latest hack going around – a GoogleDoc link that comes through email. It’ll read “So-and-so has shared a document on GoogleDocs with you.” The body of the message might say that that person has invited you to view something on GoogleDocs. It looks something like this:
DON’T OPEN IT! DON’T CLICK THE BLUE BOX!
Sorry, that was probably a bit much. You’ve probably already heard that this is going on and are aware that bad things will happen if you click that link, but still. We wanted to say it again just in case you haven’t.
So, here’s the deal: Basically this GoogleDoc link connected to an account called firstname.lastname@example.org was going around. If you open it, you’re sent to a Google page and asked to allow “GoogleDocs” to access your contacts or account details. The only thing is that it’s not actually GoogleDocs, even though it looks totally real. It’s an app that was created to use Google to access to people’s accounts. So, the victim’s contact info gets swiped and they’re at risk for having their account compromised by a hacker. The email would then spread itself through the stolen contact list.
According to a BBC article, Google said that they had stopped the attack through getting rid of the bogus pages and apps. They moved quickly to stop the problem, which began on Tuesday night. A PC World article recommends that people who are affected check what third-party apps have access their account and to take access away from any that look suspicious. This can be done by running a Google security check up.
Another way to protect your account is to turn on Google’s 2-Step Verification, which asks you for a code when you try to sign in with your password. The code will be sent to your phone, usually by text or call. You enter the code and you’re in. So, if someone did ever steal your password they’d have a harder time getting into your account. It might not be a complete failsafe against all hack attempts, but it does provide extra security to your account.
If you have a home computer that you use frequently, you can tell it to not use 2-Step sign-in again if you’re confident that your computer is safe. It’ll still be needed on other computers, though, so it’ll still catch any strange sign in attempts that happen. That way you won’t have to get a code every single time you try to sign in, but you’re still protected.
Anyways, the moral of the story is don’t open any emails or click any links that look like they could be suspicious. Be careful about what you’re opening and be cautious about your Internet security. You don’t want anyone to get into your account and steal your personal information. That would be a real mess! Be careful to protect your email and other accounts and use strong passwords for them. And when in doubt…don’t click!
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