By now you’ve undoubtedly seen the headlines that Google and as many as two dozen other technology companies came under attack by a coordinated hacking effort launched from China. That’s interesting on many levels, not the least of which is that information technology and information — even about or maybe especially about individuals is an overripe ripe intelligence target.
Google may in fact take its ball and go home, packing it up in China if the company feels government restrictions there are onerous. That’s interesting, and you probably should know about the issue which is why I included a link, but the big news is what the Chinese hack attack means for your Gmail account. Google has announced that the previously optional security setting that allowed users to use Gmail on unencrypted pages is no more. The new default is encryption for Gmail, which means that users will soon be accessing an https: prefix. This matters to you because it means your email from point A to point B just got much more secure, which is a good thing. As the new article says, secure Gmail is rolling out in waves to the entire Gmail population, but I’ve already seen it on my main account. That doesn’t mean that Google itself doesn’t know exactly what you’re searching for and writing about. Don’t ever believe that. And don’t believe that your searching, browsing, writing and other activities are invisible. Law enforcement and other entities can and do regularly subpoena this information from Google and every company I can think of dealing with data. We even include a line in the terms of service for our e-commerce clients that gives the client the right to cooperate with law enforcement. Google published some good computer security guidelines along with the changes. Take a look and make sure you’re protected.