Sometimes you have to use a public computer to check your email. Maybe you are at school or in a library and the only access you have is one of the public computers. Or, you might be at a friend’s house and log in to your email account.
Then later that day, after you’re back home, you realize – you forgot to log out of your email on that other computer. What do you do now? After all, anyone that uses that computer could just sit down and read your emails. Someone could even send emails to your contacts, pretending to be you. Is it time to panic?
First step: stop worrying. Chances are good that no one has even noticed it yet (depending on how much time has passed of course). And even if someone does see that there’s a computer that is already logged into someone’s email, it doesn’t mean that they will start thinking of malicious things to do. If I came across a public computer like that, I would just click “Log out” – problem solved.
However, you do still need to take some action to make sure your account DOES get logged out on that other computer.
– If it is a library or other public computer, you could call the library and ask the librarian to go check the computer and log out for you. Or if it is close by, you could just go there and do it yourself.
– If you were using a friend’s computer, and you trust that person, you could call and ask him or her to log out of your email account.
If you use Gmail, there’s an easier way.
Gmail gives you a way to log out of your email account – remotely. So you don’t have to be sitting at that other computer in order to log out of your email account.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Log in to your Gmail account at www.Gmail.com.
2. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and you will see this:
3. Click on “Details” and you you will see this:
4. Click “Sign out all other sessions” and you’re done. Whatever computers had you logged in, no longer will show your account as logged in.
As a precaution, it’s a good idea to check the “Recent activity” log that is shown, and see if there was activity on your Gmail account that doesn’t match with what you know was your own activity. You could also check the “Sent” emails and see if anything was sent out by someone other than yourself.