Hacked! In the Magazine

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The new issue of The Atlantic is out -- say it with me, SUBSCRIBE! The perfect gift! -- and it is really strong, in my view. As the past issue was too. And the one before that. And...

I have a long article in this issue about what I learned after my wife's Gmail account was hacked this spring, soon after we returned from a two-month stay in China. Six years' worth of her correspondence, records, and everything else was vaporized by someone most likely in Cote d'Ivoire or Nigeria.

At the end of the article I give the suspense-filled and heartwarming finale of her case, and I also say that I'll have some detailed tips on password construction and similar self-protective steps up in a special web dispatch. I will -- in a little while. For now, please use your time reading the other great stuff in this issue. And, if you use Gmail, please please please stop whatever else you're doing and take five minutes to install the "two factor" authorization system, which I've mentioned many times before. I just ranted at one of my colleagues here in the Atlantic HQ who has dragged his feet about installing it. ("But I use very strong passwords," he mewled in a plea against my wrath.) Don't make me come tell you one by one!

More on the ins and outs of passwordology soon.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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