What exactly is Gmail’s Activity Info?
One interesting trend revolving around Gmail is that many users no longer log out of their Google accounts. This has encouraged a potentially bad habit: When we are using a computer that isn’t ours we usually forget to log out. For many companies this can be a potentially huge security issue. In a bid to stop this happening Google has integrated a feature that allows you to control your accounts.
The Activity Information feature of Gmail serves a dual purpose: To give you a way to monitor the locations your account has been signed into and the ability to remotely log off. You can access the feature by:
- Clicking the cog in the right-hand side of the screen (located below your profile information).
- Selecting Settings.
- Scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking Details under Last account activity.
If you are on the Settings page, and can’t find Details, scroll to the bottom of the page and you should see it at the bottom right.
Keep tabs on log-in locations
When you click on Details a pop-up window will appear showing your account’s recent activity. Under the Recent Activity heading you will see a list of the 10 most recent ways your account has been accessed. This information is displayed in a table with three columns:
- Access Type: What was used to access your account. This will normally show Browser (Gmail’s web client), POP3 (accessing your Gmail account from an email client like Outlook) or Mobile (using the Gmail app for Android, iPhone, etc). If you see your account has been recently accessed through Mobile and don’t use the mobile app, this could be an indication your account is compromised.
- Location (IP Address): The location the Access Type was used from. It’s normally displayed with the region or country and the related device’s IP address. If you are currently in Australia and notice account activity from Russia, you are safe to assume that your account is compromised. Similarly, looking at the IP address associated with each activity log is a good idea. If you notice a strange IP, you can perform an IP lookup here, which will show the service provider of the IP address.
- Date/Time: When the activity happened. The date and time displayed are in the time zone you are currently logged into. Activity at times when you know you know you weren’t online should raise a red flag.
At the bottom of the window you can see the IP address you are currently using. Just above that, is Alert preference which you can change to meet your needs. We suggest you set an alert for any unusual activity.
If you forgot to sign out of your account from another computer, you can simply press the Sign out of all other sessions button. Pressing this will not log you out of your current session, so don’t forget to sign out when you are done!
If you would like to learn more about Gmail within your business please drop us a line, we may have a solution that meets your needs.