Check if Your Gmail Account is Hacked with Activity Monitor

Back in February Mark wrote an article, Are You Sure Your Email Isn’t Being Hacked. It provided step by step instructions on how to setup “electronic tripwire” in your email. When someone opens it the account owner gets alerted.

This time I want to go over one new Gmail feature. It watches your account and displays a notification when someone else logs into your account. Basically a nice little feature from Gmail team that lets you check if someone has hacked into your Gmail account.

When you’re in Gmail go all the way down to the bottom of the page. There you should see something starting with “Last account activity …”, that’s the feature I am going to tell you about.

gmail hacked   Check if Your Gmail Account is Hacked with Activity Monitor

As you can see above it shows the last time someone logged in into your account and the IP address of that person. If you have logged in just now you should see it right there.

Last account activity: 2 minutes ago at this IP (xx.xx.xxx.xx)

Now here comes the cool part, 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)

This basically tells you that there is someone else in your account,unless you have it also opened in other browser or left it open on other PC (at home and you are at work).

As you have probably noticed there is also a ‘Details’ link. This one gives you a bit more than just who is logged in right now but also recent account access times, the IP addresses and the way account was accessed (i.e. using Browser, via POP3, etc.)

gmail activity monitor   Check if Your Gmail Account is Hacked with Activity Monitor

Here are 3 things 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 from browser (Firefox, IE, Safari etc.) but one of the entries showing POP access, there is a good chance your account is compromised.

    3. Concurrent Sessions – If your mail is currently being accessed from another location, you’ll see it here.

    gmail activity concurrent   Check if Your Gmail Account is Hacked with Activity Monitor

    However, as I mentioned earlier if you have your Gmail account open in some other browser (or PC), those sessions will appear here as well. If you want to sign out these other sessions you can do so using ‘Sign out all other sessions’ button. This won’t affect your current session.

If at one point you notice that something is not right and feel that your account is compromised the first thing you should do is change your password.

That’s about it. Did you find this useful? Let me know what you think about it in comments.

The comments were closed because the article is more than 180 days old.

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29 Comments -

0 votes

anisa

that’s simple and helpful :)

0 votes

Jim Jones

LOL when people use stupid passwords like “password” what do they expect.

Jiff

0 votes

arx07

Dude this really puts my mind at ease. Thanks.

0 votes

hmm

Security feature my ass!

Any hacker can find out who somebody is by hacking their Gmail and looking at the recorded IP now.

First, Google’s YouTube hands over everything you’ve ever watched, searched for, clicked on and your IP to lawyers, advertisers and the feds.

And now this stupid idea to give anybody that hacks your account your IP address.

0 votes

joe

This is a stupid line of reasoning – if your email’s been hacked, chances are the piece of information that someone might obtain that you’d care about LEAST is your IP. And an IP’s just an IP, it’s not personal identification.

0 votes

Aibek

I agree, when someone hacks into your account your IP is the last thing you would worry about. FYI, getting someone’s IP address is a lot easier then you might think it is. All it takes is additional two lines of code, one for geting the IP and other for storing it into a text file.

0 votes

joe

This is a stupid line of reasoning, Hmm – if your email’s been hacked, chances are the piece of information that someone might obtain that you’d care about LEAST is your IP. And an IP’s just an IP, it’s not personal identification.

0 votes

Jean-Michel Smith

Great tip–I’ve been using gmail for years and never noticed that little feature. Very handy.

0 votes

Someone

… you’re about 1 year late on this ‘new feature’, but it’s still helpful.

0 votes

Aibek

see above comment :-)

0 votes

Imre

Does not show valid information if I am connecting to gmail with my phone using Gmail Java edition created by Google. It does not show any activity. After loggin in with my phone I opened one mail and 1 minute later checked it this information shows up. It did not.

0 votes

Paul

… I noticed that third parties widgets login like Netvibes or else also appears on recent session …

0 votes

jamie

Wonderful, useful article…

I’m chagrined to say I never noticed!

0 votes

Hacker Forums

Most of the time hackers use social engineering or Google to hack into Internet accounts.

hackerforums.org/index.php/topic,

hackerforums.org

0 votes
0 votes

Kaseas

If you think your account is compromised, first thing is to check your filters, then change your password. Some attacks include but are not limited to setting up filters like forwarding to the hacker’s email, and skipping inbox for all emails containing the word “password” or “account”.

0 votes

Joe Six Pack

Another advantage to this, if you run IMAP through something like Thunderbird at home, is it logs your IP in case it dynamically changes. I’d prefer this over running a no-ip.biz program, for example, for those dynamic dns services.

0 votes

Woland783

didn’t know it… thank you very much!

0 votes

preet

My gmail got hacked and someone changed my password and set the status on orkut (check it out: h1.ripway.com/johnsmithorkut/ ) gmail acount they found the password our by uploading a file to my server and then when i entered the password he found it, however i just dont know how to get my password back, i got lots of proof that this is my real gmail acount, eg: yahoomail and my contack number on the orkut application etc. i contacted googles gmail support email address but i didnt get a reply from them yet, how could i fix this please i want my password back??? I can’t do without my orkut account and Gmail account please help me my gmail account ID is preetpremin@gmail.com and secondary id is preet_premin@yahoo.co.in plz reply on my secondary e-mail account :(

0 votes

tips photo

Thanks for the article. I worry about hackers because I have had it happen before. I am glad that I have at least something I can use to check and see if it has happened again.

0 votes

Ford

Hi. I am a hacker. I can get you a password (aol, myspace, facebook, msn/hotmail,yahoo..etc). I do charge money to get a password. Once i get the password i’ll show you proof i have it. Are you interested? please email me at fordf202006@yahoo.com

**I CANNOT RECOVER A LOST/STOLEN/FORGOTTEN PASSWORD**

0 votes

kyle

this has happened to me two times in as many weeks. the first time i tracked the guys ip address and found his exact location. i changed my status on gmail to “i know you are in vienna virginia, i know where your house is, i know what you ate for breakfast. so kindly, gtfo.” within seconds he was signed off and my friends and i were dying of laughter. just tonight it happened again. i tracked the ip and it happened to be located in my home town. so once again i changed my status again. they saw this and instantly signed off. i have decided to not change my password just for the sheer joy of messing with these people. ahhh the fun :)

0 votes

shoaib2k2

lol kyle u enjoy this feature :-)

0 votes

Moe Bedard

This is information that Gmail doesnt even tell us about. I want my email on lock down and this helps A LOT! Thanks!

0 votes

XweAponX

Thanx makeuseofguy, that helps a lot, never even knew that feature was there!

0 votes

ADITHYA

how do get more details about the last activity, meaning the last activity over the past 15 days????? to check if someone has visited my account in the past 15 days…. the ‘last activity’ section shows only the past 5 activities, how do i get more details?

0 votes

Aibek

Unofrtunately the GMail limits ‘last activity’ only to recent visits.

0 votes

Dawn Timko

I understand what is being said. I changed my password about 3 weeks ago. I again today found an unknown IP address. The main concern is that if i can view the web history of another persons computer, are they able to view my web history and also able to access my account?

0 votes

Aibek

Could you please clarify ‘web history of another persons computer’? You mean you can connect to another computer?