Google Release Figures Revealing How Gmail Accounts Get Hacked


Google release figures showing the method by which Gmail accounts get compromised.

With hacking seemingly on the increase, internet security is becoming more relevant. When it comes to something as critical as your e-mail account, you surely want to make sure that’s safe.

We have only recently seen the effect of hacking with apparently classified Naval blueprints being compromised. Online data can be disturbingly easy to access.

These days, creating a password is no simple matter. The problem is, however, that the requirements we need to meet to create a complex password have ironically become rather uniform. Even the man who created the guidelines admits in hindsight it was bad advice.

In an effort, therefore, to promote awareness, in a report via the Independent, Google has revealed the means in which most of their Gmail accounts get compromised.

Gmail hacking statistics

So, here we go, these are the means in which a Gmail account was compromised. The figures were taken over the last 12 months.

  • 788,000 login credentials were taken using keyloggers (spyware which reports all of your keyboard entries to a third party).
  • 12,000,000 were taken by phishing (this is where a user is tricked into revealing their info, sometimes through fake e-mails or clone websites).
  • 3,300,000,000 pieces of information in relation to Gmail accounts by third-party data breaches. (This would be, for example, a shopping website being compromised. This by proxy revealing your e-mail address as a customer).

Google has, in addition, revealed that of the successful keylogger or phishing attacks, up to 25% of those result in the account being completely compromised. They also speculate that hackers might also be attempting to not just gain your e-mail details, but also your phone number and address.

While some hackers are better than others, the announcement clearly highlights the need to be vigilant. Particularly with your online security. One of the most basic steps in this is a semi-regular password change. A good complex password is generally the best advice. The days of password123 are over.

What do you think? Has your e-mail account ever been compromised? If so, how do you think they did it? What do you do to ensure a good password? – Let us know in the comments! What you did, not the password!


Mike Sanders

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