You probably have a Gmail account. If you do, you are one of over 1.5 billion Gmail users. You may think you’re in good company. You’re not. It’s time to change to a more secure email service.
Gmail is ubiquitous. Want to post a comment on YouTube? You’ll need a Gmail account to login. Setting up a new Android phone? It won’t be easy without a Gmail address. “So, why not use Gmail,” you say? “Gmail is free.” Yes, it is. Google demands none of your money; it is content extracting and utilizing your personal information.
Depending on your privacy settings, Google still scans emails to facilitate (opt-out-only) smart features. These features include calendar links, managing trips, intelligent search suggestions, and autocompleting forms. Even if you opt out of these and other features, Google can monitor your account, gathering information such as the dates and times you email, who you email, and the topics about which you are writing.
Still not convinced? Consider also that Gmail fails to provide end-to-end encryption. Without it, there is the potential for someone else to access the contents of an email.
Writing as someone whose Gmail accounts were hacked and never recovered, I will add two more reasons to consider changing to a more secure email service. The first is that Gmail requires you to sign up using personal information (name, date of birth). As I learned, that can prove problematic in the event of a Gmail hack. The second reason you should switch is that Google allocates very few resources to helping recover lost Gmail accounts. After all, it’s a free service. It is virtually impossible to speak with Google customer service agent, unless your Gmail is linked to a paying service like Google Fi, Google One, or the like. If you cannot recover your Gmail account using the online suggestions/steps, you’re toast.
There are many proven, secure email alternatives. The following email services feature end-to-end encryption and offer free, as well as paid, plans.
Personally, I use Protonmail. Among other features, it offers 2 Factor Authentication, self destructing emails, and a VPN service. Check it out. And, don’t forget to check out my day job here at Worldwide Local Connect.