I was just about to go to bed yesterday. I visited some websites, checked up on some football results, and checked my emails. As I checked my Hotmail address I saw a disturbing email. An unknown IP address had visited my Hotmail… I got nervous!
Hotmail always checks your IP address as you visit their service. The same is true about Google when you check in to your Google account. If they see some disturbing address, that is, you log in from a very different location, they will often send you a notification to let you know about what’s going on, in case your account has been compromised.
So there I am, sitting on my bed with my laptop, checking my mail… and suddenly discovering that someone from Nigeria had checked my email. That wasn’t nice! I didn’t know what to do, and luckily, it didn’t seem as if any email had arrived, or anything had really happened to my emails. I still decided to change my password, just to be sure.
Well, I wanted to change my password, but I couldn’t. My secondary email address (another webmail service) had stopped their services completely (and I didn’t know about it), so the emails sent from Hotmail to that address couldn’t be received. There was another option from Hotmail in which I had to answer millions of questions about my last emails, payments, Skype usage, and if I answered well, then they would help me based on that. But, I didn’t answer those questions well either (or not detailed enough). What was I to do? I wasn’t tired at all anymore!
What did I do?
Thar is when I decided to do one thing. I did a check-up on the IP address that used my Hotmail account. I added the IP address to the IP checker, and that is when I got some surprising news. According to the IP checker, the address doesn’t belong in Nigeria, but in Norway. And that is when I understood everything.
Earlier that day I had used the VPN services of IPVanish to get a Norwegian IP address. While doing so, I checked my Hotmail account. Hotmail noticed that I visited their email service from somewhere unusual and sent me the warning. But, for some reason, they marked the location as Nigeria and not Norway. I do not understand completely why that happened, but as the IP-checker told me that the IP address belonged to Norway (and not Nigeria), I calmed down and understood what had happened.
I was kind of angry as I discovered that I had spent 20 minutes (that I would rather have spent sleeping) hunting down a ghost that actually was my VPN connection. But, I am glad it was my VPN connection and not an intruder from somewhere in Nigeria!