Is Gmail Secure? Does It Affect My Friends and Customers?
Recently a lawyer signed up his firm for our VoIP service. For a new business you need phones, email… and some people even use fax. One of our team as the lawyer if he would be using Google’s email service (Google Workspace). With billions of users it’s pretty popular. He responded, “No way, I read their terms of service and cannot use that service”. So what’s wrong with using Gmail?
Most marketers will tell you ‘if you don’t pay for a product, you become the product’. Gmail is free. So? What were the lawyers concerns about gmail terms of service? The legal professional responded, “When you use Gmail, you give Google consent to use your content. My content must be 100% private. You can read more about that here. You can also read our post Can We Trust Google? here
So what does this mean? It’s not just you that are giving up your location, contacts, email contents, interests, videos you watch (YouTube) and so for. When you use Gmail, you are also compromising your friends. Why? Your Gmail inbox received and holds (even if you delete a mail some think) the personal details of your business associates, your friends, your family, and whomever else you deal with. You are not paying for Gmail so you are the product, and like any good company they need to make money. They make money off your usage in order to continue delivering the service to you.
Google does a fantastic job of delivering services. The search function in their gmail may be the best in class… makes sense. They will continue to add services to make the service appealing. Recently, even many spammers use gmail accounts to flog their wares. There is no doubt that Google will continue to develop their service. They are a big honeypot so if a hacker wants to hit a jackpot for data, breaking into Gmail would be a treasure trove.
If you want to use Gmail, that’s your choice, but take a moment to think about the privacy of others. What you do DOES have an impact on others? Basically, anyone you correspond with can be tracked.
If you are open to think about others, you may want to consider using a different provider. Some ideas would be-
Gmail and Google Workspace are great products. The company has a lot of money and employees to continue developing new features. The current trend is artificial intelligence, or predictive technology. Definitely a draw to use the free email service. But should you? You may want to consider if you will continue to use the Gmail with your friends and customers more carefully.