Mystery machines – check your Google account devices

Ever lend your phone to a friend and completely forget they logged into their Google Account on it? Or maybe you sold your old laptop without wiping it clean. These situations can leave a digital trail – your Google Account access on someone else’s device. Yikes! But don’t panic, there’s a way to check and clean things up.

Google’s Device Dashboard: Your Login Spy

Your Google Account settings have a hidden gem called the “Device Activity” or “Your devices” panel. This is basically a list of all the devices that have recently accessed your account. It’s a great way to see if there are any unfamiliar devices lurking around.

Spot a Stranger? Log Them Out!

Here’s the drill:

  1. Head to Your Google Account Settings: Log in to your Google Account and navigate to the “Security” section in your settings.
  2. Find the Device List: Look for a section called “Your devices” or “Device Activity.” This will show you a list of devices that have recently accessed your account.
  3. Recognize Them All? Great! If all the devices look familiar – your phone, laptop, etc. – then you’re good to go.
  4. Unfamiliar Device? Boot It! See a device you don’t recognize? Don’t wait! Click the device and select “Sign Out.” This will immediately log your account out of that device.

Extra Cyberecurity Tips:

  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra layer of security to your account. Even if someone has your password, they won’t be able to log in without a special code sent to your phone.
  • Review Regularly: Make checking your device list a regular habit. This way, you can catch any unauthorized access quickly.

Taking control of the devices that access your Google Account is an important security step. By using the Device Activity panel and enabling 2FA, you can keep your account safe and sound.