The memory of a caller from my nationwide radio show lingers—a person seeking advice because their sibling fell victim to a $450,000 scam. Misplaced trust led them astray, a situation not unique by any means. Often, individuals remain oblivious to being deceived until it’s too late.
Then, signs began to emerge. Perhaps you’ve dispatched a series of gift card codes or detected unfamiliar emails in your sent folder. In more dire circumstances, you might receive a notification about a loan applied for under your name. Valuable advice: This is why it’s essential to obtain your complimentary annual credit report.
Equally important is ensuring the security of your Google account. A mere minute is all it takes to reveal who has access to your account. Optimistically, the sole possessor is you.
Is Your Google Account Hacked? A 60-second safety check
I will demonstrate how to uncover digital indicators indicating unauthorized access to your account. However, the utility of this advice extends beyond just detecting hackers; it’s also effective for identifying potential intruders. Suspect a friend or family member is prying into your Google or Gmail account? Let’s uncover their tracks.
- Go to Google.com/devices. If you are not already logged in, proceed to sign in.
- Navigate to google.com/devices. If not already logged in, proceed to sign in.
- On this page, a catalog of devices will be displayed, encompassing computers, smartphones, and tablets where you have had an active or recent sign-in over the past 28 days.
You have the option to individually select each item to determine the respective browser utilized. This could serve as a clue that an external party has accessed your account. For instance, noticing Chrome activity when you exclusively employ Safari.
Don’t panic if you see the same device multiple times. Each session (or instance you log in to) is recorded.
You might also come across devices that have remained dormant for an extended period, such as an outdated phone or computer you no longer utilize. Taking the prudent approach, it’s advisable to remotely sign out of these devices.
- Select the desired device, followed by clicking on “Sign out.” This action will effectively revoke access to your Google account on the selected device.
Ensure to perform this action for any devices you previously utilized to access your account, including instances like a friend’s tablet or a work computer.
This serves as a warning sign:
What if you come across a computer, phone, tablet, or other device that appears unfamiliar? While this could potentially raise concerns, it’s important not to immediately succumb to panic.
There are plausible explanations, such as logging in through a VPN or accessing your account while on vacation in a different city. Another scenario could involve borrowing a device from someone else.
If your memory is hazy or you’re confident it wasn’t your action, take the following steps:
- Select the device and opt for “Don’t recognize this device?” or “Sign out.” This action will once again facilitate a remote sign-out from the device.
Now it’s time to secure your account
When dealing with cybersecurity matters, adopting a cautious stance is advised. While it’s possible that the activity was indeed yours, there is also the possibility that an unauthorized individual accessed your account.
In response, it becomes imperative to modify your password to prevent any potential re-entry by the unauthorized user. It’s crucial to avoid recycling an old password or opting for something easily predictable.
Also Read : How To Unlock Cloud Mobile Phones
Additional suggestion: Embark on a journey through your Google history.
Google’s Timeline feature offers a comprehensive overview of your travel history, including precise details like travel duration, routes taken, and even photographs captured upon arrival. If you haven’t explored this feature yet, it’s certainly worth considering.
- Visit timeline.google.com
- Search for a specific date or tap on one of the blue bars located beneath the date field. This allows you to view your visited locations, routes taken, images taken, and associated timestamps.
- Towards the bottom, you’ll notice a red box displaying the count of places that Google has tracked. Click on it to identify your most frequented locations.
If this entire activity left you feeling uneasy, you can click the bottom blue button to “Manage Location History.”
- From here, you have the option to either “Turn off” location history or “Turn off and delete activity.”
- You’ll also find checkboxes corresponding to each device linked to your account with access to location history.
Knowledge is empowerment!