Gmail adding protection and monitoring features

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Mountain View (CA) – Google is adding two important security features to Gmail that lets users monitor their accounts and log out all their sessions.  In a Google blog post, Gmail engineer Erwin D’Souza says users can now see login details for current and previous sessions.  Dates, times, access types and even IP addresses for recent sessions can be displayed along with the user’s current IP address.

The session details can be seen at the very bottom of the Gmail inbox page.  A single line shows the user’s last account activity and a details hyperlink will take them to a pop-up window that shows the last five session details.  Users are given the access type (browser, mobile phone, pop3, etc), IP address and the date and time.  Furthermore, Gmail will also say if there are other open sessions, something that is quite common when you’re using a web-based service.

Google is slowly phasing in a “remote logout” button which will be in the pop-up window.  Clicking the button will end all sessions and hopefully provide just that extra bit of security for Gmail fans.  “Usually I remember to sign out, but every once in a while I wonder if I really did. Now I no longer have to wonder,” says D’Souza.

D’Souza says his team is in the process of rolling out the remote sign out option and by our estimates approximately one-third of Gmail users already have this option enabled.

According to Comscore, Google’s Gmail is the third largest webmail provider with 90 million users.  Yahoo Mail and Hotmail are the first and second largest with approximately 265 million and 260 million subscribers.