Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #167 8/20/2008

#167 - Gmail viewing for prying eyes (Watt Thoughts)

Gmail has a problem that can enable others to view or get in your e-mail on Gmail. It is being advertised widely on the Internet now, so more instances will probably occur. The login process is secure, but unless you set a setting to make your session secure your sending and receiving messages is not. A person can grab the session cookie/identifier and view your e-mail.

You have two choices to fix this if you use Gmail. First is to always sign on Gmail using https not http (which is default) or change a setting in Gmail requiring you use https always.

When you logon using https://gamil.com or https://www.gmail.com you will receive a security error saying the security certificate was issued for another site. They are apparently using the same certificate whether you come in with those addresses or https://mail.google.com which does not give the error. You can choose to ignore the security issue and continue.

To change the settings in Gmail to require using https do the following: Go in Gmail and then go to Settings (at the top right) and look for Browser Connection near the bottom of the page and click the radio button by Always Use https. You will now need to always use https to get in your Gmail account.



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