Ever had a raging suspension that someone else is secretly checking your Gmail account? You no longer have to second guess as Gmail has a host of tracking units set into place which can help you find out if or not your account has been compromised. In this article, I am going to show you how you can use Gmail's security system to track if or not your account is being accessed by someone else and then block them for good.
Checking Last Account Activity
If you scroll down to the bottom of your Gmail interface, you will be able to see the Last Account Activity information. Click on the details link to see a detailed information of all account logins with dates. Each tab indicates an account login.
Access Type: This column gives you information on the browser used to access the account. Furthermore, clicking on 'show details' will reveal a user agent string which gives you information about the browser version and operating system version that was used. You can visit a site like useragentstring.com which will help you interpret your user agent string. Just go to the site and paste the string and click go to get a easy to understand information.
Location: The location column shows the Country, state and IP address which was used to access the account. You can find your IP address by going to a site like whatismyip.com
Note that if you are on a dynamic IP then your IP is likely to change every time you browse the internet. But the first two digits of the IP generally don't change as they belong to the same cluster of IP that an ISP owns.
Checking Sign-in and Security Options
This is another great way to check your account activities and ensure that everything is fine. To do this, click on the round icon located towards the top right hand corner of Gmail and then click on the 'My Account' tab. Once there, select the 'Sign in and security' link.
Or, you can simply reach the page by clicking on the following link:
Once you are on that page, click on the 'Security Checkup' link. You should now be presented with the following options:
Complete Your Recovery Information: You will be first shown the recovery options. Make sure that everything is correct here. In other words, add an alternative email address and a phone number. Make sure that your phone number is verified.
Check Your Connected Devices: This page reflects all the devices that you have used to access your Gmail account. Make sure that you recognize all the devices.
Check your account permissions: This option lists all the apps that are connected to your account. Click on each app to see what kind of access they have over your account. If you find apps that you do not recognize, remove them by clicking the remove button next to the app.
Checking Mail Forwarding
Finally, check to make sure that your mails are not being forwarded to anonymous email addresses. To do this, click on the 'gear' icon located to the top right hand corner of your Gmail window and then click on 'settings'. Once there, click on 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP'. On here, make sure that your mails are not being forward to any address that you do not recognize. If you do find an address that you do not recognize, click on the disable forwarding button to stop your mails from being forwarded.
If you suspect that someone is accessing your account, make sure to change your password and account recovery question. In addition to that, consider activating two factor authentication for increased security. If you think someone is accessing your account from your own system, then clear your browser cache each time you are done checking your email. Consider using your browser's private browsing which checking Gmail and never save passwords.