Locked out of GMail

Srijith got his GMail account locked down citing unusual usage. After leaving a comment at his blog, I went to check my GMail and found that I was locked out as well. I had left my GMail browser window open the whole day and when I checked, the page was refreshing every second, instead of whatever default they have. It was when I clicked on one of the unread mails that the screen changed to a locked out message. Unlike Srijith, I had a greasemonkey script running which adds the delete button to GMail.
After disabling greasemonkey, I sent a mail to the address mentioned on the lockdown page and my GMail account was active in an hour. Due to this incident, Srijith has ditched GMail. I am still going to use it, for all the unimportant mails.
Update: Rajat Paharia too got locked out and here is why it happened. So even though Srijith did not have greasemonkey installed, the fact that he was retrieving 150 messages caused GMail to believe so.

4 thoughts on “Locked out of GMail

  1. Initially Gmail was attractive because it was “invite only” and because of the 1Gb storage. But now that yahoo offers similar storage, the main attraction for the gmail interface is the “conversation” approach to threads. And if they want to advertise that as something that differentiates them, then they better handle 150 messages in a thread. My sis and I basically have one thread for weeks and months. We keep hitting reply to each other’s email. I guess I will start a new thread tomorrow.
    Or may be they are sick of gmail and want to get away from it; best way to get there is to piss of its users. I am not sure how much revenue they get from it.

  2. JK, it happened not just once!
    After I got back access the first time (after 12 hrs mind you), I decided to delete my emails and leave. At this point, I was not reading any emails, just select all and move to thrash and then in thrash, “delete for ever”. While deleting all the way, over 10,000 emails, they locked me out again. I guess the frequency of the refresh of the page must have been too much for Gmail to endure.
    I can understand their need to curb heavy refresh and suspicious activities. What pissed me off was the fact that they just cut off access without any warning whatsoever! All they had to do was say something like – “We are seeing too much activity in your account and hence you account has been tagged. If this activity persists, we will have to *lockdown* this account for up to 24 hours. It would be advisable to log off and come back a bit later.”

  3. Same thing happenned to me two and half months back. I kept my gmail window open and went for a meeting. When I came back from the meeting I found message saying that my gmail id is locked due to unusual activity. Then I sent a mail to the Gmail support asking them to restore my id because i didnt do anything wrong(I had two Greasemonkey scripts GmailSecure and GmailDelete installed in FF). Within 2 hours my account was restored.
    same thing happenned to other ppl also
    http://www.arjunprabhu.com/blog/archives/2005/06/12/greasemonkey-script-locks-down-gmail/
    http://google.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000400046791/#c295636
    But I am still using those GM scripts. Most of the GM scripts act in the client side and it wont connect to any server. so the probability they have a bug in gmail which causes lockdown.
    Interestingly Greasemokey’s core developer Aaron works for Google. His website
    http://www.youngpup.net/recently
    older versions of GM has a security vulnerability. So if u r not using 0.3.5 version then upgrade ur GM to the 0.3.5 version

  4. thats so weird. i can’t believe they would lockout someone because of some programmer’s nice-to-have script.
    btw, many rely on the lightweight gmail which gives some ultimate power of searching and maintaining tons of email. the ajax is what that does all the front-end trick and i just enjoy gmail for that.

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