There is a problem at the moment with Internet Explorer and Gmail. An unpatched flaw in IE is allowing hackers to exploit Gmail accounts. This of course, means the hacker could gain control of the account, delete all of your Gmail, and send spam or some kind of scam email out to your contact list. Google has gone so far as to throw up the following alert into the Gmail inbox of likely victims:
“Warning: We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.”
The best response to this potential threat is to change your Gmail password, and stop using Internet Explorer until the flaw is patched. You can optimize Firefox and Chrome for Gmail security. Microsoft also has a temporary fix that can block the attack vector in Windows, which can further protect you until a formal IE software patch makes the browser secure again.
As a side note, state-sponsored attacks like this (and this, and this, and this) are another reason it’s always smart to have a gmail backup. Backups protect you from the data loss scenarios you can’t predict.