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Limiting Google Snooping For A Secure Workspace

Feb 10, 2014 By Sharon Solomon

It’s no secret that Google has become the most dominant platform on the web, providing virtually all types of online services. Although not publicized enough by the company, there are ways to reduce Google’s presence in your workspace and boost your privacy/security.

The controversial change that caused a stir worldwide was the merging of Gmail and Google+ accounts. This sudden development enables people to send emails to complete strangers they randomly add on the Google+ network.

Google obviously is leaving no stone unturned in promoting its failing Google+, which has not been able to reach the popularity levels of Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, user-privacy is being openly sacrificed for the cause.

Gmail is Google’s email service, easily the most popular in the world today thanks to its seamless integration with the Chrome browser and Android mobile platform. It’s estimated that over 425 million Gmail accounts have been opened to date. But Google+, the powerhouse’s very own social platform, has disappointed.

The aforementioned development with the Gmail and Google syncing, along with the existing privacy problems with the ever-evolving platform requires CISOs, Information Security personnel and common users to be more aware. Here are three immediate steps that must be taken to protect information.

1) Disable Google+ Email Sending Option

Enter the “Gmail Settings” in your account and locate “Email via Google+“. The best way to avoid phishing scams and to protect work networks from malware contamination is to disable this option completely. If you are not really using Google+, you can simply opt out of it from your “Google+ Settings Page“.

2) Stop sharing your web browsing history with Google

Google collects information from each and every Chrome browser in use. This data is eventually used to improve online services and advertising effectiveness. The good news is that you can deny Google from snooping into your private sessions. Just hit “Web Settings” on your search page and disable the feature.

3) Relieve yourself from Shared Endorsements

Google also changed its policy regarding the Sharing Endorsements a few months ago. Your recommendations can be publically shared on Google Play or even added to Google Maps ratings. To rectify this, enter the “Shared Endorsements Page” and uncheck the relevant box. Don’t forget to click Save.

CISOs and InfoSec Managers always run scans and routine system-checks to make sure their networks are sanitized and malware-free. But one wrong click or unsafe move by a misinformed worker can prove to be the “deadly” hole-in-the-wall. The implementation of the steps mentioned above at workplaces can help prevent lots of damage.

Source – Google Opt-Out 

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Sharon Solomon

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