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 you have a compromised account 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 its 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 log in telling you that your account access was 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 with the routed locations next to them. 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, a 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 parent’s 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’s compromised, then this page will look a little bit different. Suspicious locations display 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 never to need to use.