Saturday, 1 July 2006

Gmail Tip

Here's a tip that I've been telling people for a long while, but it still doesn't seem to be that well known.

When visiting Gmail always use the URL https://mail.google.com/. Note the 's' after the 'http'.

The number one reason for doing this is security. With the 's' in there you computer is having a private conversation with the Google servers. Without the 's' and with other services such as MSN Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail any computers near or between [?] your computer and website server can copy any email that you view. (e.g. Your boss if you're reading at work, or an identity thief looking for any personal details)

Another reason is that because the connection is private you're not subject to things such as content filters at libraries or your office. So those emails about religion and art won't get blocked as inappropriate.

Of course this only protects the communication between your computer and Google's. You still need to make sure that your computer isn't tapered with. (I'm sure Google are doing a fine job looking after theirs.)

A final point of clarification. Most sites will put the 's' in while you log in. You want the 's' even after you've signed in.