October 26, 2020

Is your Data Safe when Sending Emails or Instant Messages?

The internet is booming, especially since Covid-19 and more people working from home. With that in mind, hacking, spying and data agencies are operating in overdrive!

How safe is your confidential data right now when sending an email or message on platforms like Gmail, WhatsApp and Facebook?

Do you worry about doing things online like sending important confidential information through channels such as email or instant messaging services? If you don’t already, now is the time to start worrying and avoid sending confidential data through the platforms owned by the big monopolies. After-all, it is the big well known companies that are prone to attacks, not only that, it is these monopolies that want YOUR data to target advertising and sell more ads.

Ever browsed the internet looking for something for example, a pair of shoes? After that, every single webpage you load up has adverts about shoes. That is because you probably used Google to make your search. Google places advertising cookies in your browser so that they can use their system to target ads to you. Creepy? Well it doesn’t end there and it gets far creepier when you start sending emails or personal information online through the well known online services.

If you have a Gmail account, you might understand the little test we did below:

As you can see in the image above, we send an email and inside the email are keywords to see if Google trigger ads in the promotions tab inside our email account. This is a fresh test only Gmail account we use, absolutely no other emails have been sent. After sending the email we switch to the promotion tab and check whats there:

Its an advert for Sky Broadband, the keywords we used in the email we sent. Now thats creepy, but can it get any creepier?

Imagine if a social network bought another company that owns the most used messaging app so that they could use your data to target ads to both your account on the social network and on the app itself. Well if you don’t know already, that happened years ago when Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook bought WhatsApp.

Facebook is a greed driven network that really doesn’t care about it’s members, its sole purpose is to sell advertising and to sell it to the people who are interested in the ads. It is a targeting ads service. Forget about all the nice features of Facebook and WhatsApp, they are there to get more information about you and to keep you online longer so you see more ads and click more of those ads. Ad clicks is what drives Facebook and makes it’s CEO and co owners richer. They don’t care about your privacy or your data, they want to use it to sell more advertising and they do it very well.

Facebook has been in the news on many occasions for breaching data privacy laws, selling data to other companies and bending elections towards their more favourable candidate. Facebook also does experiments on it’s users, such as one they did many years ago that caused suicides. More about that here. That is creepy but it gets even worse!

If you have WhatsApp, do a little experiment. Call a friend and talk about a product, a brandname. Try to mention the product and brandname as many times as possible, make the conversation solely about that product and end the call. Now navigate to Facebook and check the ads that are now targeted to you. That is about as creepy as you can go!

Now would you trust these companies with usernames, passwords, bank details or anything else you do online? They want to get your information and these big monopolies will do anything to get more money, it is why they were built, pure money making machines without a care in the world for the end user. Your data is worth money to these monopolies and they will get it from you and they will get everything they can and go as far as sharing it with agencies, governments and analysis firms.

If you are sending confidential information online, use a service like Safe Share which guarantees that information you send is not only encrypted but also destroyed after it has been read by the recipient. Safe Share is one of many options, however, it is free for the first 10 messages, easy to use and if you want to send more than 10 messages, you can upgrade at around €5.50 a month for up to 5,000 messages.