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Google auto-alerts Gmailers to suspicious log-ins

Compromised account warning

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Google has updated Gmail with new code designed to alert you when it suspects your account has been compromised. This alert may be triggered, for instance, when a login appears to come from one country just a few hours after a login from another country.

In July of last year, Google began posting information about account log-ins at the bottom of your Gmail inbox, telling you when the account was last accessed and whether it's still open in other locations. Now, if the company's automated system detects a possible compromise, it will post an alert above your inbox warning that the last log-in came from a suspicious location.

"If it looks like something unusual is going on with your account," Google said today in a blog post, "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."

Naturally, the company's automated system uses IP addresses to map log-ins to general locations.

The warning will also include a "details" link that takes you Gmail's existing account activity screen, showing you a complete list of recent log-ins. If you think your account has been compromised, you can change your password from the same screen.

Google has not added the new warning to Google Apps, its suite of online applications for business and school, but it intends to after gathering user feedback. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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