A new tool, released by security researchers at the University of Illinois, will walk through your Gmail account to see how much it would be worth to hackers.
This writer’s account would go for $28.60, the tool found. But the high price is nothing to be proud of. It’s evidence of emails in the account that could help the hacker gain access to other accounts around the Web. E-commerce accounts such as one on Amazon ($15) and one for the App Store ($8) were the most valuable items.
Gaining access to an email account can allow a hacker to reset passwords to other sites and start spending real money on them.
Other accounts require additional information to access. Facebook ($5) and Twitter ($0.30) fall into this category.
The researchers say users can keep their accounts safer by reducing the temptations they hold. They suggest using a password manager and opting for two-factor authentication for all services that support it.
They’ve also built a tool that will encrypt the passwords sitting in a Gmail account for users that choose to run it.