How to Stop Third-Party Companies From Reading Your Gmail

July 5, 2018, 6:14 PM UTC

Earlier this week a story published in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that some apps and services are using not only computers to read your Gmail, but also humans. In response to the article, Google published a blog post this week explaining the practice and offering solutions for Gmail customers.

The issue pertains specifically to apps you’ve given Gmail access to — for instance, an app that scans your email for recipes and lets you know about a price drop. While presumably, you knew you were handing over that access when you signed up, many users might not have realized the extent of the access they were giving.

To avoid third-party readers, Google says to visit its Security Checkup page to review what permissions you’ve given in the past to non-Google apps. There you can see which apps have access to your Gmail, and you can revoke that access if you’d like. G Suite admins can also control what data Gmail users can give to non-Google apps by whitelisting connected OAuth apps that have been vetted by their organization, the company says.

In addition to reviewing what apps currently have access to your account, Google recommends paying attention specifically to what access apps are asking for in the future before you grant them permissions.

Google also notes that in order for an app to gain access to your Gmail account it has to pass Google’s review process, which confirms that the app is accurately representing itself and only asking for access to relevant data.

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