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This topic contains 41 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 11 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Some years ago, I moved to gmail, one of the reasons for this choice being the ease with which it can be accessed from almost anywhere when travelling.

    However, on two occasions in recent weeks, it has shut down, with the notice “Unusual Usage – Account Temporarily Locked Down”. The notice is nonsense because on both occasions I was using the mail completely as normal, with nothing unusual in my usage at all.

    Needless to say, the help pages and fora on the internet are no use, but luckily, it came back to life both times, after less than an hour.

    This is a menace when relying on a particular email service for purposes of work. Have other forum members met this problem? Do other email providers do similar things? We are worryingly at their mercy.



    I use Yahoo and from time to time when I am in a foreign land I get a message which says “you are trying to log on with a device we do not recognize”‘ meaning the location is not one I use regularly or not at all. I then get a code sent to my phone and away we go.



    During my last trip to Asia, a very helpful BT Forum member sent me an email on my back up address to say his mail to me was bouncing back. Further investigation showed that my mail account was being blocked (checked via a DNS propagation check)..

    Action – arranged for my IT firm in BKK to come to the hotel, made some changes and hey ho…. matters resolved.

    One interesting other action that came out was the ownership of my firms domain… that was changed too!

    IT support has been discussed on another thread… but I would be lost if I lost all email and IT… hence why I ensure IT support is available locally and not just remotely…




    I have my own domain and webmail via that, but I always have two alternatives (Gmail and Yahoo), as these things always happen at the most iconvenient times.

    My advice would be to get a second account and use it as a fallback.



    I’m afraid I’ve had this with all 3 big webmail suppliers in the past – Yahoo, Hotmail and Gmail

    However, they have all gotten better recently – they generally recognise it if you keep using your own device(s) – unless you’re using incognito mode, or equivalent, on your browser

    If you are stuck, or are using a separate device (PC in a lounge, for example), provided you have 2-step authentication enabled, then you just follow the steps mentioned above to re-enable your account

    But, agree, their help pages are generally… not much help



    Hi David, is it a corporate gmail account or just a personal one?
    Cathayloyalist2 is correct normally its that message with some extra questions then you are able to sign in. It’s strange that it locked. If its corporate your IT guys should get a report/ nonfiction why it happened?



    Hello Peter – it is a personal account, not a corporate one, my “official” email addresses (three of them) all divert to it automatically.

    The crazy thing is that I use that address all over the place, almost invariably these days from my own laptop – but the two times it was locked, I was using it at my two of my three most common IP addresses, the house in London and the office in Ferney-Voltaire, France. There is no way the use was “unusual”.

    Yes, when logging in from a very unfamiliar location, and sometimes on another machine, then I get asked the security questions, but that is never a problem. The arbitrariness of all this is the thing that gets my goat.



    I have this all teh time in China (where google services is blocked) unless I am using my data roaming. If I fire up the VPN and spoof my IP as if back home Gmail picks up on it and has a hissy fit



    Its an interesting one, seems a lot of people have the same issue with accounts getting locked out for up to even 24hrs! One tip i just read was log out from your account each time you are finished if using a web browser – rather than just close the window.

    Apart from that you could switch to a hosted service but since you are potentially using multiple domains (with your 3 email addresses) that is a little more hassle.



    Martyn – the “helpful BT Forum member” sounds to be quite a good guy. I think you should buy him a drink. If it was me, I’d ask for a pink gin.



    When using the computer in a business centre, I not only log out but also reboot the computer. I’ve discovered using the back button will often take you back to the mail account even if you have logged out.



    LP…you would be absolutely amazed what you find in the ‘recycle bin’ on business centre computers. I will always empty to bin… but that often is not enough. Never download any document onto a public computer

    The other IT red flag are foto copiers. I will try and find a CNN report about foto copiers and their hard drives… but am very reluctant to allow hotels to copy my passport or use business centre copiers to copy anything confidential.

    @DG10… Look forward to handing you your drink!!



    I’ve experienced the same problems of lock down here as others. I’ve always been most reluctant to put my phone number into anything to do with google and so at times have been locked out for a few days until I returned home.

    Some time ago we moved all our company email to office 365 which everyone reported to be robust and no one had any access problems with it so earlier in the year I moved my personal email there too. It costs me about £3 a month as opposed to free and just as with the company account it has been trouble free and 100% dependable. I guess like anything else, you get what you pay for.



    I find this incredibly irritating – it seems to stem from the fact that US-based e-mail/social networking websites treat people leaving the country as rare an event as a visit to the moon.

    How annoying are the hoops that have to be passed through to regain access varies from site to site.

    But it is quite ridiculous that while a Californian checking their e-mail in New York is treated as routine but that a Brit reading an e-mail in the Netherlands is deemed to be on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

    And yes, I’m always very careful using public computers – having logged out, I usually re-enter the web address to double-check that my profile does not open.

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