Google Gives Gmail Users Suspicious Activity Warning

Google on Wednesday released a new Google Gmail tool that acts as a warning system to tell Gmail users that there may have been suspicious login activity on their account, Google Engineering Director Pavni Diwanji wrote in a post on the Gmail and Google Apps blog.

The new alerting tool piggybacks on the remote sign out and information about recent account activity that Google has offered in Gmail for years to help users understand and manage Gmail account usage.

"Now, if it looks like something unusual is going on with your account, 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," Diwanji wrote.

Google will determine when to display the message based on a system that matches relevant IP addresses and geographical locations. While Google said it won't determine the specific location from where the Gmail account was accessed, a login appearing to come from one country and occurring a few hours after logging in from a different country will trigger an alert.

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The warning message will offer a link to more details about account activity and list the most recent points of access for that specific Gmail account. That window will also offer the ability to change account passwords or dismiss the warning message if the user determines the login attempt wasn't suspicious, Google said.

Google said it will roll out the account login notification tool to Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers soon after the offering is used further and feedback is incorporated.

Google cautioned that the warning notifications are designed to alert users to specific activity and are not to be used as the only line of defense.

"Keep in mind that these notifications are meant to alert you of suspicious activity, but are not a replacement for account security best practices," Diwanji wrote.