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Double Stamp is an easy-to-understand guide to useful computer and internet technology. It's written to be readable by everyday computer users.

New Gmail Features: Remote Logout and Account Activity

Email has become an essential form of communication, and there is no doubt that keeping our email accounts secure is of high importance. Web-based email accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, are excellent tools because they allow you to check your email from anywhere at any time. This also creates a security issue, because anyone who somehow gets your password will be able to log into your account from another computer. For you Gmail users, however, this just became MUCH less of a problem.

Gmail just released a new feature that allows you to see how many computers are logged into your account, when they logged in, and what the IP addresses of those computers are. At the bottom of your email inbox, there is now a line that looks like this:

Gmail Account Activity Feature

Why is this helpful? Well, if someone is logging into your account from somewhere else, you will see that more than one computer is logged in, and you will know that something is wrong. This morning I opened my gmail to find that someone from another computer had accessed my account. I looked up the IP address and noticed that it was coming from the online contact management website called Plaxo. It's possible that Plaxo is accessing my account to import my contacts, but I was completely unaware of the situation. I am now investigating why this is happening, and have sent Plaxo a request for an explanation.

Another extremely useful feature is that you can now "remotely logout" of your gmail account. Have you ever left your gmail account open on another computer? Now, you can click into the "details" link on the account activity line, and then click "Sign Out All Other Sessions." This will log you out from the other computers so that no one can mess with your account. Superb!

1 comment:

Shellie said...

I never thought I would see the words "Hotmail, Yahoo and excellent" all in the same sentence, but you never cease to amaze.

Helpful advice Doughy.