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  1. #1
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    Does Google care about my security?

    For a long time I've resisted Google's Gmail admonition at login, saying: "Help us keep your account secure. Just enter your mobile phone number, and we'll let you know if we notice unusual activity in your account." And, as more time goes by and more news comes out about how our privacy is routinely trashed, I am all the more glad I have not given them my phone number, which is 201-555-0007 (not!).

    I heard recently that the ability to connect a person with a cellphone number is absolute gold to the snoopers. If they can tie the content of your emails and basically who and what you are with the other big "W", WHERE YOU ARE, then almost anything is possible.

    So, I have to wonder if Google cares the least about my security and privacy. I propose that Google is actually vacuuming up phone numbers as just another way to totally monitor us--or to trade that information to others in exchange for favors--tangible or political? What do you think?

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  3. #2
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    I think Google may care just a little about your security (for the sake of their reputation), but I don't think they care at all about your privacy (since they seem to have given up all pretense of any reputation on that score): Google: don't expect privacy when sending to Gmail

    Bruce

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodough View Post
    For a long time I've resisted Google's Gmail admonition at login, saying: "Help us keep your account secure. Just enter your mobile phone number, and we'll let you know if we notice unusual activity in your account." And, as more time goes by and more news comes out about how our privacy is routinely trashed, I am all the more glad I have not given them my phone number, which is 201-555-0007 (not!).

    I heard recently that the ability to connect a person with a cellphone number is absolute gold to the snoopers. If they can tie the content of your emails and basically who and what you are with the other big "W", WHERE YOU ARE, then almost anything is possible.

    So, I have to wonder if Google cares the least about my security and privacy. I propose that Google is actually vacuuming up phone numbers as just another way to totally monitor us--or to trade that information to others in exchange for favors--tangible or political? What do you think?
    I have been using what they call 2 step verification, for which they use your phone. They actually send you texts with codes that then you use to login to gmail. It can be good to prevent someone accessing your account from a previously unknown location.
    Rui
    -------
    R4

  5. #4
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    Two step authentication is definitely a good way of improving account security.

    I have several friends who have had their gmail accounts hacked & my son, who is active on some gaming sites, periodically sees attempts to hack his gmail account.

    Google also have an Authenticator App which runs on Android & iOS.
    Aside from ensuring you have a strong password, these are good options to consider.

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frodough View Post
    For a long time I've resisted Google's Gmail admonition at login, saying: "Help us keep your account secure. Just enter your mobile phone number, and we'll let you know if we notice unusual activity in your account." And, as more time goes by and more news comes out about how our privacy is routinely trashed, I am all the more glad I have not given them my phone number, which is 201-555-0007 (not!).

    I heard recently that the ability to connect a person with a cellphone number is absolute gold to the snoopers. If they can tie the content of your emails and basically who and what you are with the other big "W", WHERE YOU ARE, then almost anything is possible.

    So, I have to wonder if Google cares the least about my security and privacy. I propose that Google is actually vacuuming up phone numbers as just another way to totally monitor us--or to trade that information to others in exchange for favors--tangible or political? What do you think?
    Frodough:

    I believe that we are all tracked with many factors: name, MAC address, IP address, email address(es), web sites we visit, etc., etc. Over time, as these many different factors are correllated and cataloged, those who package and sell information develop very complete profiles on all of us. This is magnified when you consider that almost everyone does almost everything on-line (computer, smartphone, etc). It is magnified further when you put info on Facebook, and even further when you "like" the various websites you visit, or when you post comments using your Facebook/Yahoo/Google account.

    Having said all of that, I think that the best we can do is to minimize our exposure. For example, I put as little information on FB as possible; I don't have a smartphone, smart TV, or smart printer. If I did have a smart phone, I wouldn't live my whole life on it. Also, I look up local phone numbers in the phone book whenever possible, because when you look them up on line, you're putting info about yourself out there on line.

    That may not work for you; you have to find a plan that works for you, which minimizes your exposure, then live according to that plan.

    Jim

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Here's an article which details the stuff I just talked about:

    https://www.schneier.com/essay-467.html

    One thing I failed to mention previously:

    You can use an anonymous search engine to do your searches. I use Startpage.com. They strip out all identifying information, then run my search request through Google. I end up with all the benefits of a Google search, hopefully without giving up my privacy, at least not to Google on that particular search.

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