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False confidence

Read: 513 Comments: 4 Rating: 7

In recent years or even decades, people have come to fear data leaks. Artful marketers have noticed that and now promote a variety of secure services to address privacy issues: secure messengers, secure email, secure browsers… Even Doctor Web offers users the browser plugin Dr.Web LinkChecker which can prevent online tracking.

But some of these services are less useful than others. Let's take a closer look at the Gmail confidential mode and how it benefits users who trust it.

According to Google, with confidential mode you can prevent recipients from printing or sharing your emails and even set an "expiration date”, after which messages will be deleted automatically, or even request that the recipient verify their identity using a special SMS code.

Source

Unfortunately, all secure features have flaws.

First, messages are not encrypted on the user end. Their contents are entirely visible to Google, and it can store them for as long as it wishes. In other words, when it comes to keeping information secret from Google, there is no privacy whatsoever.

Second, all those measures preventing recipients from printing or sharing emails after the "expiration date" won't stop them from taking screenshots. Well, this may not be exactly legal, at least not in the USA. But protection under US law and actual technological security measures are not the same thing.

Third, all these expiring emails are stored indefinitely in the user's Sent folder.

And finally, to use the SMS code verification feature, the recipient’s phone number is required. In order to have their information protected, users are forced to divulge more of it.

And we are talking about a well-respected corporation here!

#security #mail #Google

Dr.Web recommends

If you are truly concerned about the security of your information, don't assume that someone else will do the job for you. Even though you may not be able to design an anti-virus of your own, you can still encrypt your messages.

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