Do you download programs for your cell phone or computer? I am guilty of not doing due diligence on everything that I install on my computer devices, cell phones included. Recently, I discovered that I needed to be less trusting and more careful about my choice of programs.
My cell phone is an important business tool. I use it to send and receive email when I am not at my desktop computer. The mailbox is constantly being filled with garbage and spam. I’m always looking for a more efficient way to manage my email.
Email is delivered to a server. You either read the email on the server website or download it to read on your computer. It is a simple process but it can become extremely complicated. One program that seemed to have a lot of promise to make email much easier was “MyMail”. MyMail is available on the Apple Store website. Apple has the reputation of sticking to very strict requirements before it accepts any program for the App Store. Apple “says” MyMail is ok. It must be safe.
First I downloaded and installed MyMail on my iPad. After I was sure that it would make my life easier, I downloaded it to my iPhone. Things got scary quickly. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. When I opened MyMail on the iPhone, all the folders that I created on the iPad, were present on the iPhone. Do you know what that means? There is a communication path between the iPad and the iPhone. That path has to be managed by something.
If you check out MyMail on the Internet, you will find that “something” is servers is Russia. The servers may not be located in Russia but they are controlled by Russian entities. I don’t have any nuclear secrets in my email but I don’t like the idea of anyone snooping in my business. There is no reason to allow anyone access to my email. The MyMail servers have record of your email password.
There is no reason to start a war over this minor “spying” effort by the Russians. Think of MyMail like a Russian Google. “Imitation is the sincerest flattery.” Google has been collecting information and selling for years. Why should we get upset with the Russians doing the same thing?
No one has come out and accused the Russians of spying but having control over email is extremely powerful. Marketeers are always looking for the ways to determine who is buying what and how to influence consumers.
What can you do? Be more vigilant and thoroughly check out any program that you intend to load on your electronic devices. Don’t blindly follow the crowd.