Google introduces warnings on suspicious Gmail use

'Last accessed from China, you say?'

Gmail warnings

Google has introduced a warning system for Gmail that will tell you if your account is being used suspiciously.

The company is keen to show people when it appears that their details are being compromised, and will now put a high visibility bar in your account if it appears to be being accessed by someone other than you.

"Now, if it looks like something unusual is going on with your account, we'll also alert you by posting a warning message saying, "Warning: We believe your account was last accessed from…" along with the geographic region that we can best associate with the access," explains the official Google blog.

Broad geographical location

"To determine when to display this message, our automated system matches the relevant IP address, logged per the Gmail privacy policy, to a broad geographical location," it added.

"While we don't have the capability to determine the specific location from which an account is accessed, a login appearing to come from one country and occurring a few hours after a login from another country may trigger an alert.

"By clicking on the 'Details' link next to the message, you'll see the last account activity window that you're used to, along with the most recent access points."

Common sense prevails

Google did add that it was important users did not rely entirely on the new safeguards, but continue to apply the normal common sense procedures for their accounts.

"Keep in mind that these notifications are meant to alert you of suspicious activity but are not a replacement for account security best practices," added the blog.

"If you'd like more information on account security, read these tips on keeping your information secure or visit the Google Online Security Blog."