Group warns of Google browsing, e-mail

LOS ANGELES All e-mail services, not just Google, can have security issues if the user doesn't take the proper precautions. But Tuesday, Consumer Watchdog pointed out some specific issues with Google.

Consumer Watchdog is a consumer advocacy group that believes Google's e-mail service, called Gmail, is not private or secure. And Consumer Watchdog says the security problem is not only with Gmail users, but also with those who may not have Gmail but correspond with Gmail users.

Consumer Watchdog said Tuesday that members of Congress have been solicited by Google to use their Gmail service and Google's browser, called Chrome, but that could put the nation's security at risk.

But in talking to Google, the company said it is comfortable with its security but it is willing to make some changes. Here is a statement from a Google spokesperson:

"We build strong privacy and security protections into all Google products, and users can control their privacy settings, such as turning on encryption in Gmail or going 'off the record' in Google Talk, or even using some services anonymously. Our team has spoken with Consumer Watchdog, and we welcome feedback from users and consumer advocates on potential new features and privacy controls."

According to Google, users can add security to their Gmail accounts by simply going into "settings" and turning on the "secure sockets layer," also known as SSL. And when using their browser called Chrome, users can open the Incognito window to hide their activity on the Internet.

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