When compared to other email services, Gmail is a secure option. Google offers numerous security options and features that help protect your login and your personal information.
However, Gmail is not immune to attacks, and accounts are compromised every day. No matter whether the person was a victim of a phishing scheme or their account was a victim of a brute-force attack, there are several ways to determine whether or not a Gmail account has been hacked.
How to Verify if Your Gmail Account was Hacked
There are a few different ways to determine whether or not your Gmail account was hacked.
Check ‘Last Account Activity’
This is the most definitive way to verify whether or not your account has been compromised. Google takes extra steps to ensure that user accounts are secure, and the ‘Last Account Activity’ feature is one of the most effective.
As its name suggests, ‘Last Account Activity’ will show you the IP address, date and time of your account’s most recent logins. So, if you live in Los Angeles but someone with a New York IP address logged into your account, there’s a good chance that your account has been compromised. Here’s how to check your account’s activity log:
- Log into your Gmail account from a desktop or laptop computer.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page. You should see your ‘Last Account Activity,’ which will tell you when the last login attempt took place. Underneath is a link to the ‘Details’ page.
- Click ‘Details.’
- A popup should appear that lists the most recent logins for your Gmail account.
Pay attention to the Location tab. This will show you the location of the person who last logged into your account. In addition, the table also displays the time date/time and access type (e.g. browser type, POP3, mobile, etc.).
Underneath the table, you should see an Alert Preference option. Clicking on the “change” link will allow you to set alerts for unusual activity. Make sure that you select “Show an alert” to keep your account secure.
Strange Account Activity
In some cases, evidence that your account has been compromised may not be quite as obvious. Here are a few signs that your account may have been compromised.
- If you log into your Gmail account and notice that all of your contacts or your messages are missing, your account may have been compromised.
- If your contacts are receiving messages from your account that you did not send, your account may have been hacked.
If you notice any strange activity on your account, check your ‘Latest Account Activity’ by following the steps in the previous section.
Check Google Account Security
As an added security measure, you can check the activity on all of your Google accounts in one simple step. Here’s how:
- Visit https://security.google.com/
- Under ‘Recent Activity,’ click the “View all events” link.
- View your account’s most recent activity.
If you do not recognize the activity, Google provides you with a quick and easy way to change your password. Along with each activity, Google also displays the approximate location and details of the person who engaged in the activity.
If you notice any suspicious activity or logins on your Gmail account, take the steps to change your password and protect your account in the future.
*Featured Image – Credit Kochkanyan Juliya