The Gmail Team over at Google has just added some new security and protection features that will leave some of their users feeling a bit more at ease that their email account is safe. Starting yesterday, Google began rolling out a feature that will allow users to view the time of their last activity on their Gmail account and whether or not it’s still open in another location.

To give you an example: You wake up in the morning and log-in to your Gmail account from your home computer to check your email before heading out the door to work. When you get to work, you log-in and scroll down to the bottom of your inbox where Gmail now displays recent activity and you see that an account is open in another location. Because it displays the IP address for all of the sessions (both open and recent), you are able to determine that the account open in another location is just your computer at home. Google provides you with information like the access type (was it a browser, mobile, POP3, etc.), IP address, and the date/time the account was visited. What’s great is that once you see that you are logged in somewhere else, you can use the other new feature which allows you to remotely sign-out of that account.

Some of you are probably concerned because now you know for sure that Google is tracking this information and that they have stats on you. At the same time, you know darn well that they have been keeping track of this information, it’s just now they are making it useful to you. Wouldn’t it be great if other sites started to implement something similar? We’re thinking PayPal would be a great site to have a feature like this. There are so many security issues with PayPal, and something like this would give users a little more reassurance that their account with PayPal is safe because they’d know if someone else had access to it.

In typical Google fashion, they are rolling these new security features out slowly. Neither Ryan or I have them yet, so we’re using the screenshot that Google provided to share with you. You’ll see the button to “sign out all other sessions” and then you’ll be able to see recent activity:

gmail security features.png

Let us know if you already have this feature and what you think of it…