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Gmail Help !!!

by vernod / March 22, 2008 6:39 PM PDT

I have a Toshiba laptop running on Windows XP Professional.

I have a high suspicion that my Gmail email password has been stolen and my email is being accessed by someone else. How can I verify this? Is it possible to see when my last logon was or any other detail that can show me if someone else has accessed my account?

I have changed the passwords, but my worry is that they still accessed my email which had important things in it. Another worry is that they logged on once from a different computer and have not logged off yet ? in this case, even my changing passwords does not help. I know that one can log into one?s gmail account from multiple computers at the same time because I have tried this.

I really started getting worried when I was logged into gmail the other day and under the chat pane, it kept saying that I am logged out and need to log back in. Yet I was able to send messages. Does this mean that someone else logged into my account and then logged out ?hence the message?

Any advice?

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It could be possible
by PudgyOne / March 22, 2008 10:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Gmail Help !!!

that someone has gotten your password. Are you accessing the Gmail account solely on your computer or are you going to the Gmail account on a public cr shared computer. There are tools that reveal logins and passwords that are used when using Internet Explorer.

Suggestions are that if you don't want anyone accessing the account, then change the password. Make is strong, a combinations of letters and numbers. There are hackers that use dictionarys to try passwords.

Clear the passwords from memory when you are done each time. This will remove the passwords from Internet Explorers memory. Before you try this, make sure that you can erase the passwords or just don'r go there on that computer.

If you're using your own computer, Use good tools.

A good virus program. I use Avast and AVG FREE is also good.

Spyware removal tools. These can be Googled and are all FREE versions.

C W Shredder
Spybot Search & Destroy
AVG Anti-Spyware
Spyware Blaster

Firewall

Zone Alarm(Firewall only, FREE)


Good luck,


Rick

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Re: It could be possible
by vernod / March 23, 2008 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: It could be possible

Hi Rick,

I am using Gmail on my own computer. The worry that I have is that someone already got my password and either logged in as me from their own computer (or logged in and did not log off yet, which makes any attempt at changing passwords useless because they can still access my mail!). So, is there any way to see if there are multiple instances of me being logged in (i.e. from my computer and from the hacker's)? Any way to reset the login so that all instances are logged off in one shot? Also, does the error message under the chat pane where it informed me that I was logged out mean that somebody else logged in as me from a different location and then logged out and hence the error message?

Thanks,

Vern

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No
by Jimmy Greystone / March 23, 2008 3:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Gmail Help !!!

No, there is no way to tell if someone has been accessing your gmail account in the way you describe. Google might be able to figure it out, IF they wanted to. But with tens to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of accounts... It's a LOT of work to go to for one person sorry to say.

What I can tell you, is that gmail cookies are only good for two weeks, so if you've changed your password and you get rid of any confirmation email that may have the password in it quickly, there should be a limited window in which any would-be spy could access your account.

All that said, the most common reason for an email account being broken into, is to use it to pump out spam. However, this practice has kind of declined recently now that spamming outfits have devised ways to automate the creation of email accounts with google, hotmail, yahoo, etc. They may only get one account out of 25-30 tries, but that's all they need.

Furthermore, one of the most common ways people break into email accounts is by installing spyware onto an unsuspecting person's computer. Using a keylogger, they can capture passwords as you enter them into the browser, so no matter how many times you may change your password, it won't do any good.

So, use the programs already suggested by others to get rid of the spyware you most likely already have. At the end I'll include my list of tips for a smooth running system, that also has the added benefit of avoiding probably 99% of all spyware and virus threats out there.

Before I get to that though, I want to suggest to you the possibility of just cutting bait. If you have reason to believe your current account has been compromised, then don't hesitate to abandon it. I know it may be hard to lose some of those emails, but any attempt at saving them may well result in this whole process repeating itself. You can always keep the account, and just look at those messages there, but don't use it for anything else. Make a new account and instruct everyone to send all further correspondence there. You might even want to consider activating the POP3 or IMAP features of Gmail so you can keep local copies of messages using a program like Thunderbird. Just DO NOT download messages from your potentially compromised account. That is key. If you can avoid even logging into it to look at old messages, so much the better.

Now, onto the tips I mentioned.

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH RUNNING SYSTEM
================================

The more of these suggestions you follow, the fewer problems you should have. Follow them all, and you've probably eliminated at least 95% of all potential problem sources.

Things you should NOT do
--------------------------------
1: Use Internet Explorer
2: Use any browser based on Internet Explorer
3: Use Outlook or Outlook Express
4: Open email attachments you haven't manually scanned with your virus scanner
5: Open email attachments you were not expecting, no matter who they appear to be from
6: Respond to spam messages, including using unsubscribe links
7: Visit questionable websites (e.g. porn, warez, hacking)
8: Poke unnecessary holes in your firewall by clicking "Allow" every time some program requests access to the Internet
9: Click directly on links in email messages
10: Use file sharing or P2P programs
11: Use pirated programs

Things you SHOULD do
-----------------------------
1: Use a non-IE or IE based browser
2: Always have an up to date virus scanner running
3: Always have a firewall running
4: Install all the latest security updates (the exception to the no-IE rule)
5: Delete all unsolicited emails containing attachments without reading
6: Manually scan all email attachments with your virus scanner, regardless of whether it's supposed to be done automatically
7: Copy and paste URLs from email messages into your web browser
8: Inspect links copied and pasted into your web browser to ensure they don't seem to contain a second/different address

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