GMail is, by far, the most popular email service on the planet. Way back when, you had to obtain an invite to use GMail, but now that the service is available to everyone, it's become the ultimate way to do email. Just how secure is GMail, though?
GMail Secure: A False Sense of Cloud Security
Email is so intimate and personal, isn't it? It's where you write those mean letters that you never send. It's also where you send those letters that you really mean. GMail is the place that connects you to loved ones through words, and it's also the place (for some) that connects you to work.
There's a certain threat lurking behind this cloud company, though. GMail isn't as secure as you may think that it is. Google has told the world outright that ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy he voluntarily turns over to third parties.' This statement caused quite a stir (and for good reason). Google is telling you that, no, GMail is not private. And, yes, your emails can be read.
GMail Secure: What GMail Means to Say
It seems like the Google PR team didn't do a great job of explaining what was meant by that above statement. You see, Google was trying to tell the public that any email sent through the system does pass through various stages – but this is all a part of sorting and sending email, and it's something that every email company does.
Can anyone at Google read your emails? Not so much, but your emails do pass through Google's system, and that means that they could be intercepted by someone at some time. Why does Google sort emails? Through sorting and scanning messages, Google can separate spam emails from good emails. You wouldn't want Google not to separate these emails, right?
GMail Secure: Is Any Email Secure?
Not really. You see, all email services scan emails for spam. Some believe that Outlook is more secure, but Microsoft will still scan and sort your messages. The only true way to make sure that what your sending is secure is to send messages that are completely encrypted – and this can be difficult to do. There are also some email services that offer encrypted messages, but those aren't nearly as user-friendly as GMail.
So, if you want to keep using GMail, do know that your data can be read, is going to be sorted, and may be intercepted. Google may also collect certain bits of data about you through your email. All of these things are just part of using a third party service, so go the encrypted route if you want to find an email option that is entirely secure. But, you really don't need to feel that paranoid about the email situation.
Just make sure that what you're sending isn't so sensitive that you can't wait to tell someone what you want to say – and, hey, you may just learn some people skills along the way.