There’s a little known feature in GMail that can help ensure you account is not being hacked called Account Activity.
Recent activity includes any times that your mail was accessed, using a regular web browser, through a POP client, from a mobile device, etc. You’ll see a list of the IP address from which the access was made, as well as the time and date.
Here’s a screenshot from my GMail account:
(FYI… the reason my GMail is in grey is because I’m using the Better GMail 2 FireFox Extension, which adds all kinds of cool functionality (including some cool themes to GMail)
Clicking the Details link next to the Last account activity line at the bottom of any Gmail page shows information about recent activity in your mail.
The sweetness is that if at some point while you’re logged in someone else logs into your account the bottom line will change to something like:
This account is open in 1 other location at this IP (xx.xx.xxx.xx)
Again, clicking the detals link will provide a much more granualar level of detail about when, where, and how your account has been accessed.
Three things in GMail you should pay attention to:
1. IP Address – If you usually signin to Gmail using a single computer then your IP address should be the same. Or at least have identical first two sets of numbers (ex. 212.10.xx.xx).
2. Access Type – This column displays the way your account was accessed. For instance if you read your email ONLY from browser (Firefox, IE, Safari etc.) but one of the entries showing POP or IMAP access, there is a good chance your account is compromised.
3. Concurrent Sessions – If your mail is currently being accessed from another location, youâ€™ll see it here.
In the example above you can see that I have Browser, Atom, and IMAP. The IMAP access is Outlook connecting to GMail, Browser is…well FireFox access it. Atom may look strange but that’s my GMail Counter Vista Sidebar gadget.
If you’re concerned about any concurrent access, you can sign out all sessions other than your current session by clicking Sign out all other sessions.