Is Someone Reading My Gmail?

Akita from Abbey writes:

Hello, I access my e-mail via the web ( I have aGgmail account).  I am not a computer expert by any means but I recently noticed that every time I send a message from Gmail multiple copies of it are stored in the trash bin?????? Also in the bottom left corner of my Gmail account where is says mail activity you can see the message leaving and then 2 copies of it coming back in to the computer?????  Someone told me that it sounds like my mail is accessed via an email client connecting to my account via IMAP????? I know very little when it comes to computers but I never set up any other type of email access ever.   I live with someone who  works in IT and has been very  invasive of everyone’s privacy in the past ( I found out he was storing all my passwords to my e-mail, bank accounts, verizon account and online work schedule). I am hoping that I am overreacting and they are not doing this again, I have nothing to hide but it is very freaky.  Please help. I also own a mac – I’m not sure if this matters, thank you 🙂

First things first, if you believe someone is illegally accessing your account, change the password immediately. In fact, consider changing the password frequently. Make sure that all of your devices are password protected.

You can disable POP and IMAP access to your Gmail. You can find out pretty quickly if your account is set up for IMAP access.  Just click the drop-down menu next to the gear in your Inbox and choose settings.

At the top, select the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.

At the top of the page, you’ll see forwarding options.  If you think someone has hacked your account, you’ll want to make sure this person isn’t sending your messages on to another account or that perhaps you didn’t set up forwarding to another account a long time ago and just forgot about it.

Below that is the option to enable POP download for an email client like Outlook.  If you don’t want your emails to be downloaded to a POP account, make sure to disable it. You can always enable the feature later if you want to use an e-mail client.

Then you’ll see options for IMAP access. IMAP offers two-way communication between your e-mail and an e-mail client on your computer, tablet or phone. If you were to move a message to particular folder using your phone, it would appear in that folder across all of your devices.  Since you are concerned that someone might be accessing your account, you can disable IMAP Access.

You have the option of having deleted messages archived, moved to the trash or deleted forever.

 I have no way of knowing how trustworthy the person you live with might be, but if you suspect someone is getting into your account, keep checking back on these settings to make sure they haven’t been altered.

~ Cynthia

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