How can I compare emails in two Gmail accounts?

rob hindle May 3, 2012
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I want to be able to check that incoming mail to 2 accounts is identical. That may seem like an odd request but I’ll explain why. A friend keeps getting her account hacked. Not found out how – she’s doing all the right things – good up to date security suite, aware of “risky” behaviours, strong password changed frequently etc.

The scenario is: Hacker intercepts high value orders, deletes from her account then, masquerading as her, contacts the customer with a “special half price offer if you buy now (and send cash by Western Union)”. The first she knows about this is an angry customer who’s sent their money (unrecoverable through WU) but not received the goods.

I set her up with a mail alias such that all incoming mail gets duplicated to 2 separate Gmail accounts with different passwords. Now a hacker needs to know that’s what’s happening and capture both logins. If a message shows up in one account and not the other we know she’s been hacked (again!)
So far so good but comparing the 2 accounts isn’t easy. Any ideas?

OK I know it’s a long shot – but I also know there are some smart and resourceful users in makeuseof!

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  1. Kyem Ghosh
    May 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    there is a easy way out, a google service, for your requirement. Sign in to one of you google account then open the http://www.google.com page. On the top right side below the black bar you find your user name, small tumbnail photo etc. and you'll get an downward arrow there. Click on it. You'll get 'Add Account' in a blue button left to the 'sign out' button. Click 'add account'. It'll open a new tab and will redirect to 'sign in'. Sign in to the other google account with its username and password. After sign in, you can manage these two accounts (chk emails etc) simultaniously in two different tabs. You can add upto 10 google accounts at a time. But the primary email remains the one with which you log in first. It works for all browsers:..

  2. Oron
    May 3, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Like Bruce, I think the way forward for comparison lies in using a local client (Outlook, Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail would do). Set it up to access the accounts via IMAP, which will give you separate folders for each account. If you (or rather, your friend) keeps the inbox fairly empty, it would be easy to compare the contents of both.

    Having said all that, GMail offers extra security options, including only enabling specific applications on the given client, and requiring activation via a number sent through SMS to the owner's mobile phone for any other client. If she activates this option, it would be practically impossible for anyone to hack into her account unles they have access to her mobile.

  3. Bruce Epper
    May 3, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    You could use MS Outlook configured to access both GMail accounts and download a local copy. You may want to keep a copy on the server, so make sure of the settings you are using prior to first accessing the accounts with Outlook. There are add-ins available such as the one here (http://www.office-addins.com/-outlook-addins/duplicate-email-remover.html) that allow you to find and process duplicates. It does not necessarily need to remove them, but just flag them so it is easier to see which messages are duplicated and which ones are not.

    • rob hindle
      May 4, 2012 at 7:39 am

      My confidence in Makeuseof users was not misplaced! Thanks Bruce that sounds like a promising approach. She uses gmail web interface mostly but also thunderbird and there are similar add-ons for that so we'll give it a try.