LOS ANGELES, CA — Consumer Watchdog warned Tuesday that Google Web
browsing and e-mail services may not be private and secure. If fact,
the consumer group says national security could be at risk.
All e-mail services, not just Google, can have security issues if the
user doesn’t take the proper precautions. But Tuesday, Consumer
Watchdog pointed out some specific issues with Google.
Consumer Watchdog is a consumer advocacy group that believes Google’s
e-mail service, called Gmail, is not private or secure. And Consumer
Watchdog says the security problem is not only with Gmail users, but
also with those who may not have Gmail but correspond with Gmail users.
Consumer Watchdog said Tuesday that members of Congress have been
solicited by Google to use their Gmail service and Google’s browser,
called Chrome, but that could put the nation’s security at risk.
But in talking to Google, the company said it is comfortable with its
security but it is willing to make some changes. Here is a statement
from a Google spokesperson:
"We build strong privacy and security protections into all Google
products, and users can control their privacy settings, such as turning
on encryption in Gmail or going ‘off the record’ in Google Talk, or
even using some services anonymously. Our team has spoken with Consumer
Watchdog, and we welcome feedback from users and consumer advocates on
potential new features and privacy controls."
According to Google, users can add security to their Gmail accounts by
simply going into "settings" and turning on the "secure sockets layer,"
also known as SSL. And when using their browser called Chrome, users
can open the Incognito window to hide their activity on the Internet.