Brian Edelman

ContactBrian Edelman, CEO, Financial Computer Services Inc, is a nationally recognized technology expert that specializes in the needs of Financial Service Sales Offices.
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Financial Computer Services Inc

Why Do Advisors Continue To Use Free Gmail Accounts? Do They Not Know The Risks? edit
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 08:26

Tags: apple | google | microsoft | privacy | security

This week I received yet another question from an advisor asking if it was ok to use a “free Gmail account” to conduct business. 

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The answer is absolutely not! For several reasons like compliance, email encryption and what is becoming abundantly clear PRIVACY!

 

In fact, Google recently published an update to its privacy policies, which in summary states if you use a free app of theirs, like Gmail, Google+, Picasa etc… ,they have a right to your information.  This update to the Google’s privacy policy prompted Congress to conduct hearings to protect consumers.

Google suggests that if you do not like these new policies. you can cancel your Google account and block cookies from your Internet browser. The interesting issue with this advice is that reportedly Google already had distributed code that prevents Microsoft Internet Explorer and Apple Safari browsers from blocking information being sent to Google. 


I have not met an advisor who did not care about their clients. So I am assuming any advisor using these services just does not know the risks.
Some of what you should be doing to protect a clients private data: 
1.       Use a paid and compliant email system.
2.       Use email encryption when sending private data.
3.       Use a compliant client vault to share private information with clients.
4.       When using a consumer service, especially free services, read and understand their privacy policies.
If have read this blog and continue to use a free email service anyway, then  either you do not care about your clients or are asking for problems.

Please feel free to comment. 

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