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Gmail: One Solution . . .
but read the user agreement first!

a Report from Barbara Brabec


WHEN A HACKER got into the web server where my domain was hosted and started sending email through my websiteís URL, I had to stop using an email address I had successfully protected for ten years. In writing about this experience in my Bulletin, a reader sent that issue on to her son, who replied to her, and then she sent his reply on to me. He wrote:

"I believe her problems are typical when using anything that has the name Microsoft attached to it. First they don't support standards, but break them instead. For example, the email name would not have been a problem if she weren't using Outlook. A lot of the problems with spam are related to MS not following STANDARD practice in the beginning. The Internet standards are specified and very clear, but MS has regularly ignored them for quick turnaround on their products. The consequence is lots of viral infections and SPAM as well."

His advice to me was to get rid of Outlook as my email client and run all my email through Google instead. I have no problems with Outlook because I have a powerful anti-virus/spam/spyware/firewall program, but his remarks finally prompted me to investigate Googleís free email service.

Everyone seems to LOVE Gmail, and I agree that Google is offering a great service here to people who don't have a website or good email client, but donít think that Google is offering this service for any reason other than profit. I agree that Microsoft products have a lot of flaws, but after forty years in business with twelve of them on the Web using MS software, Iím not about to switch to a MAC like some friends have suggested, or stop using Outlook. Change of any kind has always been hard for me, but especially hard now given my age. My rule is and always has been, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I did finally get a Gmail address, but as for using Google instead of Outlook to manage my correspondence, I don't like Google's User Agreement that gives them the right to use one's private email content. I don't want my correspondence anyplace where I can't control it. I wonder how many Gmail users have actually read this clause in Google's User Agreement:

<<< You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty free, and non exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.>>>

Maybe Iím reading this wrong, but I take "submitted content" to be email messages being stored on their server. As an author, I'm already upset with how Google has violated copyright laws, so I'll stick with the devil I know rather than one I distrust where my intellectual property is concerned. I am using a Gmail address now, but I'm downloading mail from that address into Outlook where I can control it and my replies to it.


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