How to Check if Your Gmail Account Has Been Hacked

If you’re worried about email security, here is a step by step guide to help you check and determine if your Gmail account has been hacked or compromised in any way.

Step 1: Find the ‘Last Account Activity’ Section Your Inbox

At the bottom of your Gmail inbox there is a ‘Last Account Activity’ section. Click on ‘details’ to launch the full blown monitor.

Step 2: See who has accessed your Gmail account recently
Next, what you’ll see is a table of the most recent activity from your Gmail account. It shows you

* How it was accessed (Browser/mobile etc)
* Where exactly the IP address is (So you can do some further digging)
* When it was accessed

Step 3: Understand the IP addresses – Has your Gmail really been hacked?

If you see IP addresses from different countries, don’t be too quick to panic. If you use any 3rd party services which hook-up to your Gmail account, they will almost certainly show up in your activity log. To do you own investigation, you can use DomainTools to identify the IP address. This will help you differentiate normal activity and your Gmail account being hacked.

Step 4: Understand the alerts – Google’s way of highlighting suspicious activity

Google will also do it’s fair share of monitoring, and will also alert you if it sees suspicious activity both in your inbox, as well as your recent activity log. When this happens, and the IP addresses look suspicious, it is advisable to play it safe, assume your Gmail account has been hacked, and change your passwords immediately.

Step 5: Sign Out All Other Sessions – If you forgot to sign out on a public computer

If you are worried you did not not sign out of a public computer, you can ‘sign out all other sessions’. This won’t fix any hacked Gmail accounts, but it will resolve any careless mistakes. This is also useful if you happen to lose your mobile phone and you want to ensure your email is not read by others.

Step 6: What to do if your Gmail account has really been hacked

The first thing you do is change both your password and security question right away. Then make sure your new choices are very secure. Google themselves have some really good tips . For example in the case of security questions:

* Choose a question only you know the answer to – make sure the question isn’t associated with your password.
* Pick a question that can’t be answered through research (for example, avoid your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, your first or last name, your social security number, your phone number, your pet’s name, etc.).
* Make sure your answer is memorable, but not easy to guess. Use an answer that is a complete sentence for even more security.

So there you have it. A step-by-step guide on fully understanding Gmail’s account activity log, and how to check if your Gmail account has been hacked

Microsoft to stop security updates for Windows XP Service Pack 2

Microsoft will no longer shore up security weaknesses in computers using Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows 2000 operating systems, the company has revealed.
The software giant announced Tuesday that it will stop supporting computers using those older operating systems as of July 13th.
Such desktop PCs and servers are still widely used in corporate networks globally. Qualys estimates 50% of Windows XP machines used by businesses are SP2 machines. Qualys manages computer upgrades for over 4,000 corporations, government agencies and large organizations worldwide, as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.
The service packs contain major security and reliability upgrades. "No new security patches for Windows XP SP2 means that users will not get updates to the core operating system and its components," says Qualys CTO Wolfgang Kandek. "The overall effect will be that the machine becomes increasingly susceptible to attacks from malicious software."
Infected PCs in corporate settings are in high demand by cyber gangs who place them in networks, or botnets, of thousands of other infected PCs used to spread spam, steal data, hijack online bank accounts and shut down websites for extortion or political reasons.
Most XP machines in U.S. homes are running with the more recent Service Pack 3. That's because most U.S. consumers enable Windows auto update, the online service Microsoft uses to automatically push out security fixes to consumer PCs.
Microsoft issues security updates on the second Tuesday of each month, known as Patch Tuesday. Corporate users typically install service packs and security patches manually, only after extensive testing, says Jason Miller, data and security team manger at Shavlik Technologies.
"We frequently speak with IT administrators who are running Windows XP SP2 on many machines in their network, and this will affect many businesses across the globe," says Miller. "For a variety of reasons, mainly resources and cost, many businesses still run older versions of operating systems and service packs in their environments."
Microsoft spokeswoman Alison Dwiggins declined to offer an estimate of how many Windows XP SP2 PCs and Windows 2000 servers are used by businesses globally. "As you know, we don't break out the install base," she wrote in an email reply.
Microsoft recommends that its customers buy new Windows 7 PCs. Alternatively, XP SP2 users can install Service Pack 3.


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