View Gmail access activity

Do you suspect that someone else (a hacker or a jealous lover) is snooping into your Gmail emails ? Well, there is a way to make sure if someone is logging into your Gmail account or not. You can view the Gmail access history along with the type of access, IP address and the location from which the Gmail was accessed. This is how :

  1. Login into your Gmail account through a web browser like Mozilla Firefox.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, click on the Details as shown in the picture

    Gmail Activity

  3. It would open a new pop-up window, which would show a list of last accesses to your gmail account.

    Gmail Activity

The Access Type may be through : a browser like Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, Chrome etc. It may be through the email client protocols like POP3 or IMAP which are used by applications like Mozilla Thunderbird, Outlook Express etc. It may be through a mobile service like BlackBerry etc.

If you find an Access Type that you have never used, or have not used on a specified time or from a specified location, then it should ring a bell that someone else has been snooping into your Gmail account.

The Location is the geographical location of the person who accessed your Gmail account. This is mapped from his/her IP address. If you see an unfamiliar location or IP address, then your Gmail account may possibly has been hacked.

The Date and Time field tells you the time you logged into your Gmail account. If you find an unsual time for loggin in, then again it may be possible that it is someone else.

What to do if you find unusual login history?

If Gmail detects an unusual activity then it would alert you by default, prompting you to change your password. You should change your password immediately. But Gmail only alerts you if your account is being accessed from different locations. Suppose your neighbor is accessing your account then location is same (same city), then Gmail would not alert you. In that case, change your password yourself. You should also change the password recovery options.

Here is a list of things you can do if you find your Gmail account has been compromised

  1. Change your password. User a stronger password of at least 10 characters length. Do not use any dictionary word.
  2. If the hacker has changed your password, then visit this page.
  3. Change the password recovery options like security question or email address.
  4. Add your mobile phone for password recovery. This way if someone attempts to recover password, Gmail will send you an SMS (Text) containing a security code. You must enter this code to recover password.
  5. Disable POP3/IMAP access if you find the hacker has been using these to access your Gmail account.
  6. Disable email forwarding or make sure it is being forwarded to the correct email address.
  7. Check if the hacker has not modified the signature, vacation responder message etc.

For more information you can visit any of these links :

  1. What to do when your Gmail gets hacked
  2. My Gmail and Google Apps was hacked
  3. Protecting your Google account