How to Tell If Someone Else Is Using Your G-Mail Account
A G-Mail Account makes a lot of things you do online faster, more seamless, and more efficient. For example, you automatically get a Google Account too.
This means that registering for other websites or services becomes effortless. That’s why it’s essential that all of your data is safe and protected. G-Mail does apply pretty sophisticated security measures, but it’s by no means perfect.
How can you tell, for instance, if someone else has been using your G-Mail account? In this article, we’re going to explain everything and show you how to protect yourself online.
How to See Last Active Uses
There are many reasons why you might suspect that someone else is using your G-Mail account. Google is quite persistent at reminding users that they should always be on the lookout for any troubling activity.
Often things that don’t even seem out of the ordinary might, in fact, be a sign of a security breach. Most of these occurrences have to do with unexpected changes to your settings.
Things like automatic mail forwarding being suddenly set up only you don’t remember doing it. Or, for example, newly blocked email addresses. One of the more egregious offenses would be that your name has suddenly changed.
Before you rush to change your password, it’s imperative that you do a little investigating. Did you know that you can check the last active sessions and logins for your G-Mail Account? It’s a really straightforward process, and we’ll show you how to do it.
From iPhone or Android
The G-Mail app for iOS and Android has a simple and intuitive UI. That’s why most people find it easier to send emails using their devices. But when it comes to settings and managing your Google Account, the app has certain limitations.
These limitations apply to checking your recent activity as well. You won’t be able to access the “Details” option using your phone or tablet. You’ll need to use the G-Mail web portal for that.
But there’s something worth mentioning that applies to both the web portal and G-Mail app – G-Mail already scrutinizes suspicious sign-ins.
Not only that, but they’ll prevent the sign-in, even when the password is correct if they have any reservations about the identity of the person trying to login.
You’ll automatically receive an email with the subject “Suspicious sign in prevented” and you’ll then be able to “Check Activity” and see if it’s someone you’ve given access too. Or if it was just you from a new location.
You can check this activity using your G-Mail app or the web browser. And if you’re not sure if the email is actually from Google, just pay attention if it asks for any private information or not.
From PC or MAC
Checking the Last Active status is impossible using your mobile device, but you’ll be relieved to know that there’s a direct way to do so by using your web browser. You’ll probably have an easier time managing this process with Chrome since, as a Google product, they’re compatible.
Also, every step will be exactly the same, whether you’re a PC or a MAC user. So, what’s the first thing you need to do? Log into your G-Mail account, of course. Scroll all the way down to the end of the page.
In the bottom right corner of the screen, you’ll see the “Details” option. Click on it, and a new window will pop-up.
This window will show all of the activity on your G-Mail Account.
You’ll be able to see details like “Access Type”, the IP address, and Date/Time mark that will be displayed in your time zone.
You’ll also be able to click on the “Show Details” option where it’s possible. That will tell you more about which type of browser was used for that particular session, and a few other details.
If you want to know more, you can also choose the “Security Checkup” option that will prompt you to another window.
There, you’ll have the option to inspect all the details regarding your G-Mail security.
Also, keep in mind that G-Mail will display your concurrent session information. But don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t register it right away. This can often take a few minutes.
The Last Account Activity page will also show if an authorized application has had recent access to your G-Mail. It might not always say which application is in question, but you’ll have the IP address, and time and date stamp.
In order to apply the best security measures around your G-Mail account, it’s vital to stay on top of details like which apps have accessed it.
Some websites will ask to have access to your email account and permission to read your emails for marketing purposes. And understandably, most people aren’t comfortable with that.
How to Log Out All Other Devices
If you’re used to logging in from many different devices to your G-Mail account, there could be many sign-in sessions listed on your Last Account Activity Page.
Unless you made sure to sign out, and even made sure that the email and password were forgotten, you’re risking other people having access to your email. Granted, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with sharing your password with someone you trust.
The problem occurs when sign-in sessions become a liability if you or someone else loses their phone, for example.
If you see some activity sessions that you don’t recognize, whether from a browser or a mobile device, it’s best to sign out of all of them. But how do you do that? And what will the process look like if you’re using your phone or the computer?
From iPhone or Android
The G-Mail app might not have the “Details” option where you can carefully examine every recent session. But it doesn’t mean that you can’t check which devices are connected to your Google Account in the first place.
Google Account will have a list of all connected devices, which you can review to see if you don’t recognize any of them. Here’s how you go about that using your phone:
- Open the G-Mail app on your phone.
- Click on the “Menu” option located at the top left corner of the screen.
- Scroll all the way down and select “Settings”.
- If you have multiple G-Mail accounts, tap on the one you want to check.
- Now select “Manage Your Google Account”.
- Then select the “Security” tab. And scroll down to select “Your Devices”.
- You’ll see the list of all connected devices and whether it’s a phone, tablet, or computer.
- You can select “More details” to find out more about the last activity from this device and the IP address.
But the most relevant option is that here is where you can sign out from each device manually. You’ll see the “Sign Out” option under the name of the device. The only time this option won’t be there is when you’re looking up the details of the device you’re currently using.
Finally, you’ll be to confirm your choice by selecting the “Sign out” option once again.
However, going through the device settings in the “Security” section of your Google Account, you’ll also be able to flag any devices you don’t recognize. Right next to the “Sign out” option you’ll be able to see a question that says, “Don’t recognize this device?”.
By clicking on it, G-Mail will prompt you to change your password immediately. And will automatically sign you out of all other devices, except the one you’re currently using.
From PC or Mac
If you prefer this as opposed to your computer, that’s perfectly fine. Many people find dealing with security issues much more convenient that way.
The good news is that the process will look almost the same. All you need to do is click on your G-Mail profile picture and select “Manage my Google Account”.
There, you can follow all the same steps, but they’ll be located on the left side of the screen. You’ll also be able to see which devices are currently signed in, and which are signed out at the moment.
So, what are you supposed to do if someone else has been using your G-Mail Account? That’s not the type of thing you can easily let slide.
There are a few security measures you can take, but the most important is to change your password.
And another is to run an antivirus check on your device to see if a virus has caused havoc on your device and G-Mail.
But you should also be very mindful of who you share your password with. And if your laptop or phone is ever stolen or lost, be sure to take certain measures immediately.
Also, you can always check if Google has found any suspicious recent activity and handled the issue for you. Just go the “Security” option under “Manage your Google Account” and then select the “Recent Security Activity” option.
Change Your Password
You can change your G-Mail account password using your computer or mobile device. Google will always ask you for more information because they encourage you to apply the 2-Step Verification Process to make your account safer.
That means you’ll also give them another email address, and often your phone number. The verification process will then consist of them sending you a sign-in code via SMS. But let’s see how you can change your G-Mail password:
- Navigate again to the “Manage your Google Account” option.
- Toggle the Security tab and then select “Password”.
- Google will ask you to sign in using your current password first.
- And then you’ll be able to enter your new password twice, for confirmation.
G-Mail will remind you that you need to use at least eight characters and not anything too obvious.
Also, it’s prudent to avoid using a password you already have on another email or website. A combination of numerals and letters is highly advised too.
The final step is to run an antivirus scan on your device. The scan might reveal that you’ve had a virus all along. And that it was to blame for all the unusual and suspicious activity on your G-Mail account.
Here’s the thing, Google is rather meticulous when it comes to scanning email messages for viruses. It does this for both incoming and outgoing mail. You’ve probably encountered a warning when you’re attaching something that doesn’t have a verified origin.
And that a certain email is flagged as unsafe so G-Mail won’t download attachments. That’s all for your own good. But G-Mail can’t prevent every breach, and that’s why investing in quality antivirus software may prove beneficial.
The software will perform the scan, find the viruses, and help you delete them safely. And then, you can go on using your G-Mail account without worrying about malware.
It can be stressful, worrying about whether or not someone else is using your G-Mail Account. After all, that’s usually where all important emails are stored. And often sensitive information regarding your work or personal life.
It’s concerning to think that someone else can have access to that without your permission. That’s why it’s wise to know how to check recent activity and sign out of unrecognized devices. And, as Google will often remind you, make sure that your password is bulletproof.
Have you ever noticed any suspicious activity on G-Mail? Let us know in the comments section below.