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Gmail breach: Eight tips to protect your e-mail account

The news this week of a hacker attack against hundreds of prominent users of Google Mail has served up a reminder: The security of digital information is often tenuous, despite many safeguards now in place.

What can you do to protect against an invasion of personal information? Here are tips from Google and other privacy experts to make a data breach less likely:

1. Strong passwords

Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
People walk past a logo next to the main entrance of the Google building in Zurich in this March 9 file photo. Google says computer hackers in China broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior government officials in the US and political activists.

Use a strong password, and reset it now and then. One common trick to strengthen passwords is to use a mix of lower- and upper-case letters, and to substitute look-alike characters for certain letters in a word. If you have a beagle, your password might be b3aG13.

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