Have you ever wondered if someone has access to your GMail account? Or worse, you can't remember if you logged off your GMail account after checking email on a public computer?
Not knowing if someone has access to your email account can be stressful enough just wondering if your personal information has been stolen, or worse your identity.
Up until now, the only defense to keeping your GMail account safe was to change your password frequently. But that has changed. Google, has added another layer of security that let you track recent sessions (activity) by displaying the IP addresses of the computers that accessed you GMail account.
And for those times that you can't remember if you logged off, you can also sign yourself out remotely so you can quickly change your password.
To see this information. log on to your GMail account and scroll to the bottom (footer) of your inbox. Here you will see information about the time of the last activity on your account and whether it's still open in another location.
As you can from my account, it's being accessed in one other location with the IP address displayed and the last time there was account activity.
To see more detailed information of the connections, click on the 'Details ' link.
NOTE: If you do not see this information, it is because Google is in the process of rolling this feature out to the latest version of Gmail, which is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer 7 and you should see it soon.
At the top, under Concurrent session information, indicates all active open sessions along with IP addresses and access type, which refers to how email was retrieved, for example, through iGoogle, POP3 or a mobile phone.
By clicking on the 'Sign out all other sessions ' button, you can disconnect (or logoff) the concurrent session remotely (for example when you forgot to log off from a public or work computer).
NOTE: If you suspect someone has hacked into your GMail account, make sure you write down the IP address' before clicking the ' Sign out all other sessions' button.
The bottom table, under Recent activity, contains recent history along with dates and times of access. I can also view my current IP address at the very bottom of this window, where it says This computer is using IP address...
With this information, you can quickly verify that the Gmail activity was accessed by you or someone else. If you are unsure, take note of the IP addresses and check them with your computer and any computers that you used to access your GMail account.
On Windows computers, IP information can be displayed, by opening up a command prompt (click on Start \ Run and type cmd ) and entering the following command at the prompt…
or if you are connected to a wired or wireless router, you can get the IP address by visiting WhatIsMyIP Address.com.
For any IP addresses that you do not recognize, WhatIsMyIpAddress.com can also look up an IP address and give you detailed location information (click on the IP Lookup link on the navigation menu bar). Just remember, hackers often spoof their IP Addresses, and the information displayed could be false (so don't go crazy with this info).
Keeping your personal information private can be a tough task Thankfully Google has made it a little bit easier with keeping tabs on who is keeping tabs on yourself.