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Can I trust Gmail?


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18 replies to this topic

#1 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 21 2006 - 03:21 PM

I'm trying a new SPAM control technique: I'm forwarding all email received at my web-domain to Gmail and then downloading it via POP with Thunderbird. Gmail seems to have very effective anti-SPAM filters and I'm hoping this will work better than MailWasher.

But now I worry about letting Gmail (Google) have all my emails! I've never used web-mail system. I'm a bit paranoid and prefer to have my emails retrieved and stored locally. Gmail lets me do that, but I'm still a bit uneasy that Google will now have all my random messages, love notes :b, business communications, and so on.

Can I trust Gmail with my letters?

#2 of 19 Linda Thompson

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Posted February 21 2006 - 04:50 PM

Draw your own conclusions (the first 3 are older info, but still highlight some valid points):

http://www.epic.org/.../gmail/faq.html

http://www.privacyri...GmailLetter.htm

http://www.theregist...._evil_privacy/

And, lastly, Google's own very-carefully worded policy:

http://mail.google.c.../help/more.html

#3 of 19 Christ Reynolds

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Posted February 21 2006 - 05:13 PM

are you uncertain of other email services? if you feel uneasy, delete the messages after you store them locally.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#4 of 19 Rob Gillespie

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Posted February 21 2006 - 07:07 PM

With recent developments, I'd probably trust Google more than Yahoo.

US Government: Give me you freckin' emails!
Yahoo: Here you go, thank you!
Google: F* off!
No longer here.

#5 of 19 danDo

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Posted February 21 2006 - 09:20 PM

Google is the account I use to sign up for all internet accounts that do not involve money. I have a different account for ebay/paypal and regular financial accounts. I still get spam in my other account(I have the spam blocker on through that site) but google seems to filter out every spam I get.

I don't trust any of my online or real life information to be private. If it was I would not receive junk mail addressed to me instead of "resident" or "head of household".

#6 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 22 2006 - 12:45 AM

Quote:
are you uncertain of other email services?
I've not given this much thought until now. I've never used HotMail, Yahoo mail, etc. for anything but need for an alter ego for registering at various web forums.

More recently, my main concern was using my personal email address, rather than e.g. someone@yahoo.com, and having copies of email at home. Also, web-mail services seemed clunky and unreliable -- I know the trouble I've had losing posts in forums like HTF.

Today, web-mail is more appealing and may solve several weaknesses in my present system. However, I am concerned about Google, the purpose of which is datamining, having all my email.

My local ISP, my web-hosting company, and the middlemen transporting my messages, have little interest in my data from a business perspective. But Google's business ends would be extended by exhaustive knowledge and sharing of my email (and its other users).

But as pointed out, people have used HotMail, Yahoo, AOL, etc for years without concerns. And these large companies could benefit as Google from exploring users' email.

Of particular concern is some possible consulting -- I am signing an NDA to receive proprietary info. I don't want to inadvertently expose this data to Google via my email system.

But again, people use AOL for business email extensively.

Is Google different? Can I trust them less than an ISP, TimeWarner, AOL, or the small shop that hosts my domain and current email system?

Quote:
Draw your own conclusions
I've read some of those. They are interesting and alarming. And may overly paranoid.

#7 of 19 danDo

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Posted February 22 2006 - 01:44 AM

Once you download your email from google, can't you just "delete" then go into the trash link and "permanetly delete" everything?

I don't know if that permanetly removes the information from their servers and backup data.

either way, i would definatly use a "real" email address for consulting work.

[EDIT]
Google's Gmail privacy policy points out that your email will be retained even after you close your account -

"The contents of your Gmail account also are stored and maintained on Google servers in order to provide the service. Indeed, residual copies of email may remain on our systems, even after you have deleted them from your mailbox or after the termination of your account."
[/EDIT]

Guess I answered my own question... I missed the links above before I replied.

#8 of 19 Christ Reynolds

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Posted February 22 2006 - 05:30 AM

Quote:
But again, people use AOL for business email extensively.
aol is the LAST company in the world i would trust with any information, personal or business. it is used to widely because most people don't know better. nothing aol is doing for businesses is unique.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#9 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 22 2006 - 02:30 PM

I've decided that I don't trust Gmail.I believe there's a conflict of interest between Gmail's need to protect users' data and its business model.

However, it simply solves three significant email problems I had, making my digital life much better. I'd like to find a different solution, but this will suffice for now.

Thanks for you comments!

#10 of 19 Kyle McKnight

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Posted February 22 2006 - 06:25 PM

I personally don't care that gmail may (does) scan my email on the basis of just showing me text ads, but as soon as that may change, I shall change emails.
Kyle McKnight

#11 of 19 Christ Reynolds

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Posted February 23 2006 - 02:46 AM

i dont care either. no humans read my mail.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#12 of 19 Mike Fassler

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Posted February 23 2006 - 12:50 PM

use thunderbird for your emails if you can then use popfile as your filter it is the most awesome spam filter out there once you train it to do what you want.

#13 of 19 Jeff Jacobson

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Posted February 23 2006 - 01:03 PM

Of particular concern is some possible consulting -- I am signing an NDA to receive proprietary info. I don't want to inadvertently expose this data to Google via my email system.


I heard about an encrypted e-mail service called hushmail.com on NPR yesterday.

#14 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 23 2006 - 01:49 PM

Quote:
use thunderbird for your emails if you can then use popfile as your filter
Alas, I want to avoid having to download 100+ spam before processing. Or does popfile talk directly with the server?

And I want web-access to my mail. Having the anti-spam tool does no good for checking email online, away from home. Posted Image

#15 of 19 Christ Reynolds

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Posted February 23 2006 - 02:03 PM

thunderbird recognizes some mail as "spiced ham", and gets better over time, as you train it. i know you dont trust gmail, but their junk mail scanner is the best i've seen. nothing even makes it into my inbox, nevermind thunderbird. yahoo on the other hand...50 junk mails per day on an account i've only given to friends.

CJ
And then when I feel so stuffed I can't eat anymore, I just use the restroom! And then I CAN eat more!

#16 of 19 Kimmo Jaskari

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Posted February 23 2006 - 10:30 PM

There are spam filtering solutions that do work very well after you train them, so called Bayesian filters. Spambayes is one good example. As you go along and train them with good mail and bad mail, filters like that can reach accuracy rates approaching 100%... high nineties, easily, in any event. That's good enough for most people.
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#17 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 24 2006 - 02:18 AM

Quote:
gmail, but their junk mail scanner is the best i've seen
Gmail's filters work well, but it's only at about 5%-10% false negative rate for me -- I get about 5 spam a day in my inbox. Hopefully that will improve. Fortunately, no false positives, deleting real email.

So far, I'm not sure if Gmail filters better than MailWasher Pro did. But Gmail is much easier to use.

#18 of 19 Anthony Moore

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Posted February 27 2006 - 08:16 AM

Ive been using gmail since it came out, and can say I only get about 1 spam per week (maybe less) in my inbox. The rest goes directly into the spam folder. And I occaisonally check the spam folder for real mail..no messups yet. I use my gmail address to purchase online too. So you can take that for what its worth.

As for trusting gmail? I say dont email anything that would get you into trouble in the first place..
Anthony Moore

#19 of 19 DaveF

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Posted February 27 2006 - 01:02 PM

Gmail is working fairly well for me. In the past few days it's identifed 124 SPAM and and missed about 10 -- about 90% accuracy. No false positives to my knowledge. Acceptable but I'm not wowed by its filters.

However, I've recently failed to receive a couple of emails. Not in my inbox. Not in my SPAM folder. Not languishing in my webserver. Friends say they sent them but I never received them. This concerns me. I've not idea where the problem lies.

I need to do some testing and see if my GMail arrangement is eating emails.


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