Security for Dummies

security tips and tricks

Gmail and expose…

It was not so long ago, April 1, 2004, when Google mail first appeared. In 2005 there were 5.4 mln subscribers and 51 mln in early 2007. Do you know how many Gmail accounts were registered up to date? Quite a lot…
Do you have a Gmail account? I believe you do. Everyone has it.
It is a great and convenient tool. It is absolutely free. It is so convenient and easy to use! It is superb! BUT… Free, like a cheese in the mouse trap.
What makes me so skeptic? Why do I have a strong sensation of discomfort? What is a problem there? The answer is out there, in your (and my) personal Gmail account…

Did you ever feel the eyes watching you from behind when you opened your inbox? No, not the Big Brother is watching you. The Big Brother is slow and ignorant, while the G-Brother is much smarter and faster. Big Brother watches criminals behind the fence, G-Brother watches you in the web. By the way the similarity is even more transparent here. We both enjoy it for free…

Let me be more specific. One simple test that you can run yourself will show it much better than all words can do. Just send an e-mail to your Gmail account, put some specific subject (e.g. “How to rob a bank” or “where to buy drugs”). You can leave the message empty. Then open it in the web browser.
You will immediately get the point when you look at the Google ads. They will be very specific. They will rely to the subject of the mail, but not only. Another test – leave the subject empty or neutral and attach some word document. When you look at the adds you will realize that your attachment wass scanned. You will be offered stuff related to the content of your document. These ads will be also relevant to your profile. Do you know how big your Google profile is? I assume that it is much larger than your Big Brother’s file. 
Yes, I know that this information is collected to help seller pushing me some goods that I am probably interested in. But I feel concerned that some company keeps it. Moreover, I remember the story about Israeli blogger.

That was a first precedent. More are coming.


July 12, 2008 - Posted by | Big Brother, privacy | , ,

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