I just tried to login to my secondary Gmail account found that my account has been disabled. What happened? Well, during the last two days, there were many spam (actually phishing) mails sent to my account. These mails asked the recipients to submit Gmail account information ‘otherwise the account will be disabled’. Several people commented about this to the others on the To: list. I responded to one of those mails (just a small retort to a stupid racist remark, which had a denial attached in advance, by one of the people who responded).
I thought I was the victim of a phishing attack, though I realized it was a case of phishing so I didn’t do what was suggested in the fake mail. I mean I was not the perpetrator of the attack or anything similar.
Does Google punish the perpetrators of such attacks or the victims? Nice New Year’s gift.
A few days ago when I tried to login to my primary account, I got the message that my account has been locked as ‘some unusual activity has been detected’. Unusual? Yes, I do a lot of unusual things, but certainly not on my Gmail account. There I am as usual as you can get. Fortunately, I succeeded in logging in on my third attempt.
While I am on this topic, I might as well write about one suggestion for improvement in all email systems. Whenever you log into your account, you should be shown if there is some other session open for the same account. This will help in ensuring that one has not accidentally left one’s account open somewhere. And, in a worst case scenario, one would also be able to check whether someone else has somehow got access to one’s account, by stealing password or by hacking.
One lesson learnt from this story: It is not so good to rely on one email provider alone, even if it’s Google. I will have to do something about this.
There is one more thing I should say here. I am against spam like most people, but I don’t think heavens would fall if one gets a few useless mails on some particular day. I don’t support anti-spam fanaticism either.