Gmail will warn you of any "suspicious" account activity

Published Date
26 - Mar - 2010
| Last Updated
26 - Mar - 2010
 
Gmail will warn you of any "suspicious" account activity


 

Gmail introduced a new feature yesterday that will give Gmail account holders greater security for their e-mail. In case you were worried that someone else is accessing your account and spamming/scamming your contacts or misusing your personal/important information, Gmail has the solution, of warning you exactly if such “suspicious account activity” is happening.

 

 

Just like the 'remote sign out' and 'recent account activity' information displayed at the bottom of your inbox, Gmail will now tell you if your account has had any suspicious activity, warning you that “your account was last accessed from” this IP address, originating from this geographic region.

How the automated system gets alerted is by comparing subsequent account log-ins and their IPs (while maintaining Gmail's Privacy Policy), and if the IPs show that they are from different countries within a certain stipulated time of a few hours, an alert will be triggered. This may not be very fine-tuned, and will allow people from the same country to hack others' accounts and not raise an alert, because Google currently does not have the “capability” to determine the specific location without breaking the privacy policy or requiring more invasive probing methods.

All alerts and account activity will be displayed in the "Details" link next to a warning message, and if you feel that your account has been compromised, you can change your password from the same window. It is from here also that you can “Dismiss” any alerts that you know were not actually 'suspicious'.

All this information was displayed on Google's Official Gmail Blog yesterday, and the writer, Engineering Director Pavni Diwanji, goes on to say that “these notifications are meant to alert you of suspicious activity but are not a replacement for account security best practices. If you'd like more information on account security, read these tips on keeping your information secure or visit the Google Online Security Blog”. Thanks for the hard work trying to keep our Gmail accounts safe, Google!

 

Abhinav LalAbhinav Lal

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