When you send an email, particularly a business email, you might presume that no one but you and the recipient can read it. But even if your email is never hacked, third-party software companies can scan them and gather information for ad targeting purposes. Ever wonder why you suddenly see ads for a particular product after discussing it with a friend over email or instant message? That third-party software is exactly why. And in some cases, real people working for those software companies might also view your emails.

This is mainly a problem with Gmail and other free, web-based email platforms. If you’re using email for business purposes, we really must stress the importance of using a secure email service. It looks more professional anyway, and a secure email can protect sensitive data from prying eyes.

As for your personal email, we know that Gmail or similar services can be quite handy. If you’re going to use those, follow these steps to tighten up your security:

  • Click on “account information” in the upper right-hand corner of your Gmail screen
  • Click the link that says “sign in and security”
  • Navigate to “apps with account access” and click “manage apps”
  • Remove any apps that you don’t recognize, or that you see as a potential problem with regard to accessing your emails

Then, review these steps every few months. Often when we download new apps, we accidentally give them permission to access our emails and other questionable behavior.

If you’ve never heard of this problem, it’s a good reminder that when a service is offered to you for free, it might be because you are the product! Free online services often come with strings attached, such as monitoring your activity for ad targeting purposes. Always use a secure email service for your business needs or any other exchange of information that must be confidential. Call us at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we’ll discuss the email options available to your company.