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Who Else Can Read Your Gmail?

13th July, 2018 | Data Security | Entropic

Photo by Aurélien - Designatic on Unsplash

In a previous article, we discussed some ways that you might unwittingly disclose your physical location while using Google. Amongst the services of Google, the most widely used include Search, Android, Gmail, Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Google and Play Store - each of which have users numbering in the billions. Additionally, services such as Google Docs and Drive are also very popular.

If you depend on any of these services, it's important to be aware of what other Apps might also have access to your personal information on Google. This is because over time for instance, by using a mobile or web-based App, you may have unwittingly authorized one or more of them with specific levels of access to your Google account information - for instance Gmail, Google Drive, or Calendar.

Below is an illustration that shows how third party Apps can use Google API's to access your personal information on Google.

How Apps can access your Google information


How to Check

To find out what Apps have been authorized access to your Google information, do the following:

  1. Go to Google Search and if not already, sign in by selecting the Sign In button in the top right corner.

  2. Once you are signed in, select the Google Apps IconApps icon in the top right corner.

  3. Select the Account option.

  4. Under the Sign-in & security section, select Apps with account access.

  5. Google Apps that Have Account Access
  6. You will see a list of all Apps that can access your information on Google. Select the Manage Apps option to view a summary of the types of access that each of them have.

  7. Google Apps that Have Account Access - Details
  8. Selecting any of the Apps listed will reveal more details about the specific type of access that this App has to your Google Information.

  9. Google Apps that Have Account Access - More Details
  10. To revoke access for a specific App, select the Remove Access option

  11. To fully remove an App that uses Google services, the steps vary based on the device or service you are using:

    1. To remove a mobile app from your Android device, use Google Play.

    2. To remove a mobile app from your Apple iOS device, use the App Store.

    3. To remove a G Suite App, use the Manage Apps option on the G Suite Marketplace.

In the future, the use of Ethereum and decentralized apps (Dapps) along with decentralized storage systems will help us mitigate the problems associated with the way we currently centralize applications and information. This will empower better approaches to disclosing and monitoring your personal information. A good overview of Ethereum and Dapps is discussed in this article by Alex Moskov, originally posted on CoinCentral.com.

If you have any feedback, questions, or suggestions, please let us know.

Acknowledgements:
Photo by Aurélien - Designatic on Unsplash.