A Defensive Computing Checklist
by Michael Horowitz
Consider your Gmail password critically important. Never tell it to anyone. Do not use your Gmail password for anything else. If there is a chance you might forget it, write it down on paper twice and store each copy in different secure places.
To me, the biggest issue with Gmail is that it is free. Any free service comes at the price of no technical support. If something goes wrong with Gmail (or your Google account) tough luck. In my opinion, email is important enough that it is worth paying for, just to get technical support.
We saw a stark example of this in August 2022, when a father was banned by Google for taking pictures of the rash on his toddler to send to a doctor (A Dad Took Photos of His Naked Toddler for the Doctor. Google Flagged Him as a Criminal). There are many aspects to the story, but the one I want to emphasize here is that this was clearly a mistake by Google. The Police opened a case and closed it quickly as any person could easily tell it was a mistake. But there was no person at Google to talk to.
- The Best Gmail Settings You Might Not Have Used Yet by Eric
Ravenscraft for Wired (March 2021). Some topics mentioned: Change Undo Send Time Limit, Confirm Actions on Mobile, Unread Message Icon and
Customize Your Keyboard Shortcuts.
- To change the time period when you can undo a Sent message: at gmail.com, click the gear in the top right corner -> See all settings -> General tab (should be the default) -> Undo Send.
- How to recover your Google Account or Gmail from Google. Hopefully, you never need this.
- If you use two factor authentication with Gmail, good for you. Should something go wrong with the second factor, Google offers a fallback using backup codes. See Sign in with backup codes from Google.
- May 2019: Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy by Todd Haselton and Megan Graham of CNBC. The story said you needed to delete the Gmail message to remove a purchase. However, later research found that there is no way to delete your purchase history. And Google also tracks your Reservations, Subscriptions and Payment Methods. See it all at myaccount.google.com/payments-and-subscriptions. From Google: See your purchases, reservations and subscriptions.
The day before flying recently, Uber offered me a discount for getting to the airport. Gmail told Uber about my trip, I found it in the reservations and confirmations page.
- CONFIDENTIAL MODE
What: It is an attribute of individual messages that lets you set an expiration date for sent messages, revoke access to sent messages, and optionally set a password for a sent message. In addition, recipients of confidential Gmail messages are prevented from forwarding, copying, printing and downloading the message. Invoke it while composing a message by clicking on a very small image of a padlock and a clock. The recipient does not need to use Gmail.
But: The recipient can take a screen shot. Message passwords require that you provide a cell phone number for the recipient because the password is texted to them. So, arguably less confidential than normal. Google does not say whether they can read the messages, which means they can.
- Watch out for Gmail's new Confidential Mode
by Mike Elgan for Computerworld (May 2018). Elgan says that this is neither secure nor email.
- Send & open confidential emails from Google
- AVOIDING GMAIL
- 5 Reasons to Ditch Gmail for ProtonMail by David Nield for Gizmodo (March 2021). The article is wrong about End-to-end encryption. It only applies to messages between two ProtonMail users.
- How to Migrate from Gmail to ProtonMail by ProtonMail (undated). The steps: Transfer existing
emails, Set up email forwarding, Transfer contacts, Inform your contacts and Update online accounts.
- Privacy-Conscious Email Providers from PrivacyTools.io
- These 4 Gmail alternatives put your privacy first
(Fastcompany Aug 2019)
| This page: 6 views per day (over 31 days) Total views: 178 Created: August 27, 2022|
Copyright 2019 - 2022