Do you use Google’s free applications? Relying on these, free Google applications can help boost productivity, and may make your files more accessible to those people in different branch offices within your company. However, by making those files more accessible by using one of Google’s free applications, you are also opening those files to lots of people you have no clue about, and they may not be harmless business associates.
You do not want to show your sensitive business files to your competition, or complete strangers but that is what you are doing when you use any free application on the internet. This is what may happen in by using free applications, such as Google’s Search, Google’s free Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, calendar, desktop, Google talk, product searches, and Google’s docs and spreadsheets free applications.
Using Google’s search engine, which is a free application, you effectively tie your search history into your browsing activities through the double click-advertising network. This in turn and gives the company a very detailed free view of what you search for, this allows Google and double click to target specific advertisements to you
Using Gmail, which is a free e-mail service application, also lessens the privacy of private e-mails. The e-mails and their attachments that reside in your free Gmail email are unencrypted on the Google servers, allowing them to be read by anybody who chooses to look on Google servers.
With using the Google docs and spreadsheets free applications your files are stored on the servers unencrypted as well it is okay if those are just general documents and spreadsheets. However if they are sensitive private applications then leaving them unencrypted, allows anybody who types in the URL to find them free. If those are business documents and your competition finds them, they could steal your business ideas.
Using Google’s free application, Picasa Web albums is a wonderful way to share your photos. Your photographs that are in unlisted directory can be view by anyone on the Internet who knows the URL. Another bad side of using this free application is, once you put your photographs there, you have no way to view or save your photographs when you are off-line.
Think about the Google calendar free application, which it is very handy you can save your daily schedule. This is a nice feature, and it is very useful for those of us who live a very hurried lifestyle but there are drawbacks to using this free application. Those drawbacks include the loss of privacy as your information is stored unencrypted within the Google servers.
The Google desktop is another free application that can be quite handy in a businessperson’s life, but it too has drawbacks. If you neglect to lock the search engine with in the desktop free application, anyone using that computer has access to your personal files, your legal liabilities here as a business could be seriously jeopardized because copies of your documents may be stored on the servers, which puts them at risk for loss or unauthorized access.
Google talk is another free application, in Google talk, the instant messenger logs can be stored and searched within Gmail. If you use the instant messenger for a business, those chat logs can be searched, and sent to those people you do not want them to have private business information.
While Google’s suite of free applications can be very handy, they should not be used for business information, because they are unencrypted. However, for the public, they should be just fine as long as you know people could be seeing your private information.