Google back in March introduced a warning system in Gmail that would notify Gmail users about suspicious account activity.
From what we could tell back then the system compared IP addresses of the computers used to log into Gmail.
Logins from different regions of the world, for example the U.S. and Russia in short succession would trigger the notification, giving Gmail users the chance to react promptly by changing the account password to protect further abuse.
How does this work? Using the IP address you provide to us, our automated system can determine your broad geographic location. If you log in using a remote IP address, our system will flag it for you. So if you normally log into your account from your home in California and then a few hours later your account is logged in from France, you’ll get a notice like the one above at the top of your Dashboard page - alerting you to the change and providing links for more details. [via]
Google has now rolled out the feature to all Google services, and will display suspicious account activity in the Google Dashboard.
This means that they check the IP address in all Google services and not only Gmail, a useful change that adds to the security of the account.
Two links are provided in the notification message: details opens a small popup with additional information about the account activity listing the location, IP address and date and time. The alert can be ignored or closed in this popup. The other option is to change the Google Account password, an option that is also provided directly in the initial notification message.
The only problem with this service is that most users probably do not access the dashboard regularly, if at all. It would be great if the feature would be activated for all Google services so that the suspicious account activity would be displayed right there. Up until then it might be wise to visit the Google Dashboard regularly to check the account.
Update: It is highly suggested to enable two-factor authentication for Google Accounts to improve the security of the account further.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.