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Does Gmail mean the end of private e-mail?

By MaryWeilage Editor ·
What's your take on Gmail, Google's new e-mail offering? Do you feel the privacy concerns are well-founded? Do you think companies should discourage employees from using Gmail? Share your comments about the potential of Google's Gmail, as discussed in the June 7 Internet Security Focus e-newsletter.

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What Privacy in email?

by Dave Howe In reply to Does Gmail mean the end o ...

It has long been known that most email is about as private as a postcard - every set of hands it passes though (or more accurately, every admin at every server) can spool off a copy for his later amusement if he chooses, networks can be sniffed, mailboxes hacked into, stored mail accessed or redirected by warrant (or in the uk, the correct internally-validated-by-law-officers form that no judge has or will see)

if you encrypt your mail for privacy, this will still work.
The rest of the time - does it matter? do you care if some robot process is picking over your text to create compatable email adverts? its not as if any real human sees or cares what your text is, as long as they can get paid for the googleads they can target more precisely that way :)

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E-mail is never secure!

by bdulac In reply to What Privacy in email?

I have to agree with the author of the article and those that have stated that E-mail in and of itself is insecure. I believe the people who have objected the most to Gmail probably are not aware that the e-mail they are currently using could be read by anyone with a basic network sniffer.

If security in e-mail is such an issue then why not focus more on viruses and spam instead of what type of advertisement is directed at you.

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It's true, email is never secure

by jeffs In reply to E-mail is never secure!

A great quote from an InfoSec manager:

"If you put it in email, you might as well just write it on the bathroom wall."

I think that pretty much sums up the secured state of email.

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Risk level in using Gmail

by srinivasanth In reply to Does Gmail mean the end o ...

Dear...........

I wish to know one thing about Gmail about which I am very hazy:

I do plan to take to e-mail and am ready for spam, junk mail and targetted ads. I suppose all I have to do is NOT to open my Gmail if I find it not worth the bother of ploughing through the INBOX.

HOWEVER WHAT I AM NOT CLEAR ABOUT IS WHETHER THIS WILL EXPOSE MY HARDWARE / COMPUTER TO ANY RISK OF AD INVASION OR ATTACK BY VIRUS OR SPAM OR TROJAN OR POP-UPS. I WORRY THAT THE OTHER MEMBERS OF FAMILY SHARING THIS COMPUTER WITH ME SHOULD NOT SUFFER DUE TO MY JOINING GMAIL. In fact it is THEIR computer and I am only a guest user.

Can you please clarify what / whether risk I would subject the computer to ?

Thanks.
sv
7 jyne 04.

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Risk?

by Dave Howe In reply to Risk level in using Gmail

as far as we can tell, no.

Google currently offer a standard google ad in the web interface (couple of lines of ascii text, obvious clickable link that goes where it says it goes) - and aparently will add the same as footers to email traffic accessed via smtp or pop3.

google have an excellent track record with their ads for preventing anything even resembling a dodgy practice, never mind viral links - all ads are plain text, the links are pre-vetted. In a world where popunder and "floating" ads are the staple of every evil spammer that sells a tower-banner to a site, google is a refreshing and non-evil breath of air :)

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thx

by srinivasanth In reply to Risk?

thx for the instant and helpful response. i do think it is upto the gmail users whether to use it or not; it wd not be fair to criticise google for making this offer affording willing participants i GB !

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The same risk as any other...

by keyguy13 In reply to Risk level in using Gmail

You will have the same risk as if you used hotmail or yahoo for your free email. The difference is that with Gmail you will get 1 GIGABYTE of storage for your attachments and everything else. I think it is a more than fair trade off.

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Gmail just another email service

Gmail is like any other so called free email service in that it asks you to give up some degree of precieved privacy in return for use of the service. As a Nework Administrator I don't allow use of any of these free email services on the company network. But, I see no need to be anymore concerned with Gmail as opposed to any of the other services. Until encryption becomes standard practice almost all email users are sending postcards, believing them to be private mail. Hey!! that's something these privacy guardians might want to work on.

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Is any really secure?

by JimHM In reply to Does Gmail mean the end o ...

Is any E-mail really secure - I don't care if its encrypted or not - like a cop once told me if a theif wants your car the only way they aren't going to get it is for you not to have one.

E-mail in a corporate environment is property of the corporation - Home Email - can be encrypted - but still can be hacked.

So Googles new G-Mail is just a service offering they hope to make money with.... Give the hackers a few months and G-Gmail will be hacked..

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Launch date...

by patrek In reply to Does Gmail mean the end o ...

Does anybody here remembers that Gmail was launched on April 1rst 2004?

Pat

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