It is always safer to use HTTPS to access Gmail account. Google had recently introduced a new notification feature, that alerts you whenever someone other than you, logs into your account.
This notification is a great add-on to Gmail features, that alerts you whenever your account is compromised.Log into Gmail and scroll down to the bottom of the page.There you will see a notification about your last account activity.This has information on the time of the last activity and the ip address from where it took place.From these information, you can easily identify whether anyone other than you accessed your GMail account and from which ip address.
Now if you are logged into your Gmail account and some hacker logs in, the notification line will change to:
This account is open in 1 other location at this IP (xx.xx.xxx.xx)
This is another cool feature that alerts you of the intruder, unless you have opened another session from a different PC/computer.On clicking the Details link found towards the end of the notification, you will get an history(log) of all recent account activities like times of account activities, the IP addresses and the way account was accessed i.e. whether the access was via a browser, POP3, etc.
If the Internet service provider (ISP) assigns a static IP to your PC/computer, then you can check the history for any ip other than your static IP address.On the other hand, if your ISP assigns a dynamic IP, then you can verify the first two sets of numbers and ensure that there is no strange IP.
You can also validate the browsers used to access Gmail account.The Details page will also have information about any concurrent session from another location.
What should you do upon identifying a Gmail hack?
- You will have to first change the password (to a strong password) for your Gmail account, as soon as you sense some stranger activity therein.
- Next verify the Sent mails to identify any mailing activity, by the hacker, via your Gmail account.
- In case you store any vital information like bank account/password in your Gmail account, change the passwords for all such accounts and verify activities in those accounts.
- Run a “Whois” on the strange ip addresses.Sometimes it may turn out that you used external services with which you shared your Gmail account/password and you need not worry, if the ipaddresses happened to be of those services authorized by you
Share your thought on gmail’s activity monitor to track hacking activities.