Who’s reading your email?

Who’s reading your email?

Google Gmail

Recently in the news there has been concern over whether Google is doing enough to keep your email secure. Concern has arisen over the access third-party developers and apps have to your Google account. There are many apps which link to your Google account. During the installation process you set the level of access you’re prepared to give the app. If during the installation of any of these apps you’ve been asked for access to your email, and you’ve agreed to this your email may have been read.

So what does it mean to read an email? In giving an app access to your email it is highly unlikely that people envisage another human physically reading through the contents of their emails and viewing their private email conversations. But this is exactly what you are agreeing to. This is not to say all apps will do so, but they have permission to and may do so at some point. The people with permission to read your email are not Google employees, but third parties such as developers entrusted by Google (and yourself).

Google claims to vet developers and their apps via a stringent, multi-step process. But as Facebook can attest to, once a third party has access to your data it’s difficult to control how they use it. This is not the first time concerns have been raised over Google’s commitment to privacy, with the discovery last year that the Google Home Mini was inadvertently spying on users due to a hardware flaw.

As a safety precaution we advise against giving third-party apps permission to read your email. If you’re concerned you may have given a third-party app access to read your email, you can check using Google Security Checkup (link opens in new window) and make adjustments if necessary.

If CyberGuru can assist in any way, please let us know.

Ask CyberGuru: What is the difference between the desktop and web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint?

Ask CyberGuru: What is the difference between the desktop and web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint?

Ask CyberGuru

In this month’s Ask CyberGuru, we are asked, “What is the difference between the desktop and web versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint?”.

Whilst Microsoft includes the desktop version of Office as part of both Office 2016 and most editions of Microsoft Office 365, if you are looking for an alternative, the web version may be a possible solution.

The web versions allow you to create documents in Word, Excel and PowerPoint and to save them in OneDrive. You can access these documents any time you wish to on practically any device and your work is saved automatically. You can also share and edit documents in real-time with others and they can see the changes you are making.

The web version is free if you have a Microsoft Account, although functionality is somewhat limited. Having an Office 365 licence gives you greater functionality and the feature set in the online versions is improving on a regular basis. However if you want the full functionality you have come to expect from Microsoft then the desktop versions of Office 2016 and Office 365 remain your best option.

If you need help with Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2016 products, please contact us.

Use your favourite apps wherever you go

Use your favourite apps wherever you go

Use your favourite apps wherever you go

Whilst you use apps on your desktop computer, laptop and tablet, using portable apps allows you to have access the same apps when you are using offsite facilities. All you need is a suitably-sized USB drive or access or cloud storage location, such as Dropbox.

If you use shared computers in co-working spaces and training facilities, you’ll realise it not always easy (or possible) to install apps onto such computers. The way I get around this is through the use of what are known as “portable apps”.

Portable apps, available free of charge from PortableApps.com (link opens in new window) can be downloaded and installed on portable devices such as USB or cloud drive, and which will then enable you access to programs that may be needed for your work without the need to install them again on each device you use.

Portable apps can be used on a variety of operating systems, including Windows and Mac OS X. The apps available include a range of browsers, internet tools, office programs and much more. There are over 300 apps available in the directory, which is free to use and portable across devices.

If you’d like to know more, contact us today and we can help you set this up. All you need is a portable device such as USB or cloud drive.