gmail-privacy-concerns

Protect your privacy: Gmail knows all your secrets and plans

E-mail service has become a large part of daily life as the dependency on it is growing. Daily life, school, college, and then for professional life, email is a hub for everything we do. Fee updates, receipts for all our online purchases, travel documents, and itineraries are now received via email.

Also, the email id works as signup for various websites and if we forget passwords of accounts, email is what saves everyone. We now send emails for communication purposes not just for work but also for daily needs such as to enquire about a service or file a complaint against a service.

Your inbox may hold a lot of private information or secrets about your life and what you are going to do next. When you book a flight to another city, email knows about it before anyone else in your personal life. The emails we receive and our daily dependency of email can help to build up a profile based on one’s interests and social connections.

Privacy concerns 

Threats to email accounts are inevitable due to the data and financial information it holds. However, the threats vary based on the type of account. Business accounts hold information about big corporations; phishing attacks on such accounts can lead to massive data breaches.

Individual accounts face privacy threats from personal information saved in the email. Most people use Gmail service for an individual account as it offers many services for free. Google doesn’t scan the content of emails. But using data from Google accounts it serves ads.

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Information collected by Google

Google collects data received in the email to help with the services it provides. When you book a flight, Google automatically adds it to the calendar and starts sending reminders. It provides maps for areas travelling to based on hotel bookings. 

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These tools are focused on saving time and alleviate the pressure on users. However, some users may not be comfortable with the data collected from an email account. Some users may not want to give the details about their sign-up on other websites.

Securing e-mails

Users should focus on securing their emails and also on how to make it strong enough for their needs. Big email service providers such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail do offer enough security protections for email accounts. The two-factor authentication along with the security keys provides further protection.

There are a few other email services that focus first on privacy and offer end-to-end encryption. These email services are for those who want extra security to maintain confidentiality and want their emails to not be linked with users’ identities.

Privacy-First

There are many email services that focus on protecting its users’ privacy. Unlike Gmail and other popular email services, these privacy-focused email services come at a cost and need to admin them effectively.

ProtonMail, based in Switzerland builds and protected based on the world’s most strict privacy laws.  The services provide a bunch of security features mainly designed to protect a user’s email and identity. The company claims to offer end-to-end encrypted emails and form won’t be able to access user data.

Lavabit, once shutdown after the surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden picked it for the privacy it provides. Later the US government tried to bring it to comply with its surveillance. Later it was relaunched in 2017, by the same team who said the need for secure email options is increasing.

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Email services also offer end-to-end encryption services. The service offers three modes of protection based on a subscription model. Modes are “trustful mode”, “paranoid mode” and basic services at $30 per year.

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