Gmail: Checking Your Account's Security

If you’re using Gmail, you’ve probably seen at least one phishing attempt, though Google has been getting pretty darned good at weeding them out. The basic scenario is this: You get a message that appears to be from someone you know, and you click a link within it to download a file your pal has supposedly sent. You’re then taken to a malicious login page, where your typed-in account credentials are stolen. It’s nasty! I wish the people who trap others like this would step on LEGO pieces with their bare feet at least 500 times.

To avoid becoming a victim, you can check out the suggestions I wrote about in an earlier tip; the best advice there is to avoid clicking on emailed links whenever you can. However, it’s also a great idea to periodically check to see what devices and security events are associated with your Gmail account. Hey, you never know if someone’s gotten access without your knowledge! And then he’s gonna see all the passwords and credit card info you’re emailing to your contacts, right?

Oh goodness, even joking about you guys doing that is upsetting to me. 

Anyway, here’s how you make sure that all is right in your Gmail world. Go to the Google “Sign-in & security” settings at Then click on “Device activity & notifications.”

On the subsequent page, sign in if you’re not already…

…but then you’ll be able to see any security events (like changes to your recovery info) that have occurred recently. 

Scroll down a bit, and you can also review the devices that have logged into your account.

Click the “Review” button at the bottom of each section to look through the details of everything that’s gone on, and if you see any devices or events you don’t recognize, you’ll definitely want to change your account password! Then you can follow the other instructions Google has under the link at the top of those “Review Events” and “Review Devices” pages.

Unfortunately, the nasty little bit of social engineering we call phishing will probably be a danger for the foreseeable future, so stay safe out there! Or at least check to make sure stuff’s all right every once in a while.