Gmail has been in the game for a while and they’ve experienced their share of phishing, hacking, and general user carelessness. Although most of the time when an account is compromised, it’s usually because a user has been careless with his account credentials or has been a victim of a phishing scam. Because of this Google has just updated with it’s latest Suspicious Activity Alert update.
Now Google will keep track of your recent login IP addresses and use those to place a geographical location. If Google picks up a distant or unusual location that you’re account logging in from it will now display an alert at the bottom the next time you login telling you that your account was accessed from a strange location.
Under normal circumstances if you want to check your recent activity it is displayed at the bottom of your account. Just Click Details and it will open up.
If everything is normal, this page should just display your latest 5 login IP addresses and the location they are routed from next to it. If you were using another computer and forgot to sign out, this is a useful place to do so. You never know when your little sister, co-worker or old boyfriend?? might be reading your private emails and spreading the nitty gritty gossip to all of your social network and family members, all because you forgot to sign out the last time you used Gmail on a computer at work or your parents house. And if you have ever used email to reset a password to one of your other accounts…. yeah the password could be in your inbox as well.
If you’ve been traveling, or your account has been compromised then this page will look a little bit different. Suspicious locations will be marked in red, and Gmail will prompt you to change your password immediately if things don’t look right.
Now usually an email hijacker will try to get into your inbox to find passwords and clues to other accounts you might have running. But if you can catch it early, it will save you and possibly your company from a huge nightmare. Overall this is a very groovy update from the Gmail team, but one I hope to never need to use.