Google’s free and popular email service, Gmail, notifies users of any unusual behavior in their account. This includes any unusual new logins. When you use a new device to connect into your Gmail account (such as a new smartphone or tablet, or a shared computer someplace), Google sends an alert to the device you designated to receive security alerts.
Suspicious logins are ones that do not adhere to the standard sign-in process, such as checking in from an unexpected place. Google will usually ask the user certain security questions. If they do not respond and abandon the login attempt, Google will send an alert to the owner’s specified device or account.
In the unfortunate event that someone attempts to break into your Gmail account, Google will only offer one data point – one login date, one browser, and one location. But what if your email has been hacked and it isn’t a one-time occurrence, but has been going on for a while? What if someone has been spying on your email or sending out nasty emails in your name? In this post, we will demonstrate how to conduct a thorough and effective evaluation of your Gmail login history in order to discover whether there has been a pattern of usage by an unauthorized user.
Getting to the Bottom of the Problem
To detect unauthorized users, you must first identify who the authorized users are. Gmail, in particular, does not monitor people; instead, it records sessions. The device, browser software, and IP address used for access all help to identify these sessions. As a result, you’ll need to know which devices you’ve used to access your Gmail account, the IP addresses from which you accessed it, the browsers you used, and the precise dates you logged in to check your email.
The next step is to examine your login history to determine when and where someone else accessed your account. This allows you to identify unwanted access points and prevent them from occurring again.
Gmail Login History Check
To see your Gmail login history, you must first log in to your account.
- Click the Details icon at the bottom right of your dashboard. This should open a new tab with information about your account activities.
2. The tables that appear show the browser that was used, the IP address, the country of origin, and the date and time of the login. If you discover any foreign activity, you may opt to sign out of all current web sessions from this new tab.
You may also see further information about each login by clicking the Show Details link next to the browser tag.
3. You may also examine your login history by going to the Recent Security Events page. You may flag any new logins from illegal places from this page.
You should also be aware that if you use another device with a 3G network, such as an iPhone, the address will vary from that of your home or office computer. Once you have both of those addresses, you should be able to detect which logins were not approved right away. (For more information on how to identify whether someone else is using your Gmail account, see our linked page.)
Check Your VPN Use
You may notice a rash of unusual logins from another place right away. Before you assume you’ve been hacked, check to see whether you’ve been using a virtual private network (VPN) bundle to hide your online surfing activity. VPNs often spoof the Internet’s IP tracking methods to make your machine seem to be someplace (and someone) else; if you’ve had a VPN operating, it may be difficult for you to make heads or tails of your session data.
By the way, this is not an argument against using a VPN. VPNs undoubtedly give an extra degree of protection to your online activities. However, be mindful that they might make interpreting security logs more difficult.
Why It’s Important to Check Your Gmail Login History
Because Google is a cloud-based email service, it cannot simply prohibit illegal IP addresses and devices from signing in to an account. They’d be barring genuine users whenever they changed phones or utilized a different computer. The only measures they can take are the ones they actually take, such as alerting you to potentially suspicious occurrences such as mystery logins.
Because most of us don’t update our passwords on a regular basis, a login history checks every now and again is a smart approach to detect any email shenanigans. It doesn’t take long, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Furthermore, even if you change your password on a regular basis, you never know whether someone has a keylogger on your computer or another method of obtaining your password. If you discover approved valid logins from times and dates when you thought you weren’t in Gmail, it’s possible that someone has physical access to your system and is exploiting it.
The easiest approach to keep your Gmail account secure is to check your login history on a regular basis and report devices that should not have access to the account. The good news is that Gmail will notify you of any new access point. You should get an email notice nearly immediately so that you may take appropriate action.
Other Security Steps
There are further preventative measures you may take to improve the security of your Gmail account.
If you haven’t already, create a recovery email and phone number, one that you know isn’t compromised, so that if the worst happens, you can regain control of any hacked account. This is quick and straightforward; Google will lead you through the steps.
Turn on Gmail’s 2-Step Verification From Your Computer
Another thing you should do is enable two-step verification on your account. The login procedure is complicated by two-step verification. Aside from your login and password, you may either enter a physical device into the system you’re using to authenticate your identity, or Google can phone or SMS you an authorization number. You may also instruct Google to send a prompt to your actual phone of record to confirm that it is you. These procedures may be unpleasant if you check in regularly, but they make it almost hard for someone to break into your Gmail account without physically compromising your systems. To enable two-step verification, follow these steps:
- Go to yourGoogle Account.
- Click Security on the left menu panel.
- Click 2-Step Verification on the Signing in to Googlepanel.
- ClickGet started.
- Follow the instructions on the screen.
Turn on Gmail’s 2-Step Verification On Android
- Open your Android device’s Settings and then hit Google.
- Select Manage Google Account.
- Under the Sign in to Google option, choose 2-Step Verification.
- Tap Get Started and then follow the on-screen instructions.
Set up Back Ups
Setting up an account backup provides a safety net in case you forget your password, lose your device, or get locked out of your account for any other reason. Follow these steps to configure backups:
- Log in to your Google Account.
- Tap Security.
- Again, tap 2-Step Verification located under the Sign in to Google panel.
- Add at least one of these second steps:
- Authenticator app codes
- Backup codes
- Backup phone
Although there a limitations to the number of logins you can view from the Gmail login history page, it’s an invaluable tool to know how to use. Share your experience with the community by leaving a comment below.
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