This morning, my e-mail (which I access via Google’s Gmail service) got weird on me. About 90 minutes ago I started receiving a ton of bounces for messages I never sent.
I figured that maybe some spammer spoofed my e-mail address in the Reply-To field — that happens to nearly everyone sometime, and there’s not much you can do to prevent that. (If you got spam with my name or address on it, rest assured it wasn’t from me.)
But then I looked in Gmail and realized that some messages I’d sent and received this morning were missing. I’ve never had missing mail in Gmail, and I’m 100% certain I did not delete these messages. They’re gone, they’re not even in the trash.
I’m thinking maybe someone hacked into my Gmail account, sent spam, and then deleted the spam from my sent mail and from the trash.
I immediately switched to another strong password, but I’m still concerned: If the person who hacked my account remained logged in while I changed my password, I’d think they could then switch my password — locking me out of my own account. They also could delete more of my mail, or send more fraudulent messages.
I tried to contact Google to ask them how I could avoid this problem. To my amazement and dismay, the only help Google offers for Gmail (as far as I could find) was login assistance. That page says, “The Gmail Team will not respond to inquiries submitted through this form that are unrelated to login problems.”
Wow, that’s real nice. I’d think “Don’t be negligent” would be part of “Don’t be evil,” but I guess not…
Anyway, if you know anything about the inner workings of Gmail, I’d like to know:
- How can I tell whether anyone else is logged in to my account when I’m logged in? I’d like to know when it’s really safe to change my password.
- Is there any way for me or Google to recover e-mail deleted from my account today? I’d assume they have master backups.
- Is there any way to get support from Google on this matter?
- Has this happened to anyone else?
Thanks a bunch. If you have answers, please comment below or e-mail me.