3 Ways to Check if Gmail is Hacked

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Gmail being one of the popular and widely used free Email client, is always targeted by Hackers. More over most of the time people won’t even realized even if Gmail is hacked. There are some ways, by which hacker will be able to read your Email without loging into your Gmail account, like by Using Gmail for mobile, IMAP feature, Email forwarding and so on. Though in such cases, we have features like Gmail last account activity, which comes out to be a life saver for many. Anyways, in this post we will look into some of the easiest way to find out if your Gmail is hacked or compromised.  These, tips are very useful for every Gmail users, and even if your Google account is not hacked for now, it’s always  a good idea to keep an eye and know about how to monitor unusual activities.

We all know that security is the first thing that we should take care of while working online. I was talking to a friend and who happens to be self proclaimed hacker and I had some interesting conversation regarding social engineering and how easily he hacks a Gmail or Facebook account. Though he also mentioned that it’s easy to find if your Gmail account is hacked without using any 3rd party tool.

He mentioned that one of the easiest way that he used is by Gmail fake pages. I won’t get into more details on how he is hacking people Email address, but in this post, I will be sharing two quick tip which you can use to cross-check if your Gmail account is hacked.

3 Features to Crosscheck if Gmail is Hacked or not:

Gmail last account activity feature:

Gmail introduced last account activity feature long time back. Last account activity shows the location, IP, Method and time when your Gmail was accessed. It shows the last 10 login along with current one. So first thing, which you should do is click on last account activity at the bottom of your Gmail account and check when and where your Gmail account was accessed last time. This will give you an idea if your Gmail account is being used by someone. More over, you can also logout any other logged in users from other system using last account activity page.

Email forwarding:

This is another useful feature by Gmail team which will let us forward any Email coming to our Gmail account to any other account. Hackers usually forward all Emails to their account and since this feature is not being used by many, people never realize that some one else is reading their Email. So you can go to this page and check if your Email is forwarded to any Email address.

POP and IMAP Setting for Gmail:

IMAP and POP feature will let you access your email on any 3rd party client using any of these two protocol. The issue is anyone can configure their Email client to receive your Email if they get access to your password. So at the same time, hacker will also be receiving your important Emails. If you are not using IMAP or POP feature, it’s better to keep them disabled. Also make sure you follow above step 1, as if any hacker already configured his Email client using your Gmail account, in the activity field you might see some unexpected location and I.P.

If you ever feel your Gmail account is hacked, you should change your password immediately along with your security question, password recovery Email and check registered phone number. It’s good to be paranoid about security but never be too confident about your preventive measures.  It’s better to keep a close eye on your account for any unusual activties and if you give access to your Gmail account to any 3rd party sites like rapportive or anyone else, make sure you read about the review and feedback from online community.

Also check out: 7 security tips for your Gmail account.

Do let us know if you have spotted anything unusual or like many others did you realize now that your Gmail account is hacked?

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Blog post by Harsh Agrawal

Harsh has written 1051 articles.

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  1. Steven Padin says

    I have been receiving several emails from a former business partner that keeps insisting that she still receives forwarded emails from my Google Apps email (with my own domain name), but I had searched EVERYWHERE to find any forwarding setting to her email account and I can’t find anything wrong! Can anyone please let me know where to look????

  2. Charlene says

    My gmail was hacked months ago and still, after changing my password several times AND having the 2 step verification code, people are receiving spam coming from my email address and also I’m getting random IP addressed from the US and overseas (latest was India and Denmark). I done scans on my work and home computers but don’t seem to have any malware or viruses. I can’t find any answers. Does anyone have any suggestions? Should I just close my account and start from scratch? I don’t know what to do anymore!!!

  3. Dave says

    Pretty Interesting article, and i do know what it is like to be hacked and to hack! But i was wondering Saying i use a Ipad and iphone to access my emails (via the the standard email app on both of them) the 2 accounts i have which are gmail & hotmail, i do sometimes use a laptop to login via a browser but that is very rare.
    But is there a way of knowing if someone has accessed my emails from another location (if they have my password details!) without going into a web browser and seeing what ip’s have logged onto my account,eespecially gmail when i am using my smart devices??

  4. Lisa says

    I check my gmail account everyday because someone keeps accessing it. It shows different ip addresses AND that I am connected to Firefox and Chrome browsers. I only use my phone to access. I believe this someone (I am pretty sure I know who) has a temporary root on my phone because permissions are changed and apps are on my phone that I cant get to. Possible my phone is cloned. I am so frustrated. I have done factory reset twice nothing changes. I believe its thru google and gmail that (mine) they are connected. I have an old gmail they have hold of that I had before my factory reset. I change my password daily and I have 2 step verification which keeps getting changed back to the first date that I had started the 2 step verification and I have to sign into my account because my imap account is logged out and I need a new code. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Molly says

      Lisa, try taking your iPhone into your local Apple store and ask them to do a factory reset from iTunes, rather than just doing a factory reset on your phone. When you do a reset on your phone, your phone uses its own memory to reinstall/update files. So you aren’t really getting rid of any malicious software.

  5. shoe says

    would a person know if the government accessed your gmail account through reviewing account activities? do you think the government comes in the same manner that the public would to access email content without a warrant? could the government have a backdoor or means to hide their IP address from recent activity?

  6. Jonathon Hemlock says

    I have a 100 character gmail password managed by Lastpass + 2-step authentication on my gmail account. I 1000 times dare someone to hack into my gmail account. Come on buddy, hack my gmail account…ha ha ha ha ha.

  7. Mia Jackson says

    I was hacked earlier today. I realized it when I heard my emails in my MacMail (which is linked to my gmail) going nuts! Found this article and checked the last activity. Sure enough – some random server in Bulgaria was listed! Sucks totally, but at least I heard it right away and started the fix the fixable by changing the password. Thanks for the tips.

  8. Rahul says

    if i chat with someone inside Gmail, can someone actually see what i chatted later if they have access 2 my account?

    • says

      Yes Rahul they can. By default Gmail saves logs of all chats and conversation too.. Though you can disable saving chat history from Gmail settings.

  9. John from Web Design Melbourne says

    Hi Harsh,

    I had faced this issue in past, thanks for sharing this information

    i am not aware of last account activity feature of gmail, really very simple to check – just a single click.

    Thanks for sharing interesting information

  10. Kimi says

    Hi Harsh,

    This is really great tips that I have never been aware of.

    I heard many people got their gmail accounts or another free email accounts hacked, so those are really great tips to prevent bad things happen.

    Eespecially if we store some important datas in our free email accounts.

    Thanks for the reminder.


  11. Harry Sehgal says

    Nice and Safe Tips.
    Email Forwarding is the one thing that you should always check.

  12. Rahul says

  13. Basant says

    Those who care for the security of their Gmail a/c “must” opt for the newly added “2-Step-Verification” from Google. It’s a PIN like verification used by many banks. I am already using it and it works like a charm. Now, I feel 100% secure with my Google a/c :)

  14. Suresh Khanal@SEOMMOTips says

    Hahaa! There were so many features and never realized. Thanks Harsh! Till I read through your post, I never thought if there was any service that tells you where you’d logged in. Most useful!

  15. hamarasathi says

    Hi Harsh, My friends also faced Gmail Hacking, but i am unable to understand, how can hacker access your account when you access mails with your personal computer,
    anyways thanks for above article.Atleast we can get info that our account hacked or not?

  16. Sumon @ Sumon Seleem's Blog says

    Thanks for these useful tips. I think we can avoid being hacked if we remain a bit more conscious. I personally had hacked more than 5 Facebook and Gmail accounts in the past. They all were just careless…

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