Speakeasy forum

General discussion

Experts warn about Google problems on shared computers

by Rolway / October 25, 2004 1:48 AM PDT

NEW YORK -- It was supposed to be a tool to help people find stuff on their hard drives. But experts are warning that Google's new search engine for computers may leave a person's personal information at risk if they use shared computers.

For example, if the index searcher is installed on computers at libraries or Internet cafes, users could find sensitive information. Such information could be teased out of e-mails that are sent or received on a shared computer, as well as Web sites, other documents that might contain passwords, conversations with doctors or pages that detail online purchases.

The Google Desktop search was released last week as a beta test phase. It automatically records e-mail read through Outlook products and pages viewed in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

It can also track down Word, Excel and PowerPoint files stored on the computer.

A Google official said managers of shared computers should think twice about installing the software until Google is able to come up with advanced features like password protection and multiuser support.

Meantime, users of shared computers should look for a multicolored swirl in the system tray at the lower right corner of the computer desktop that indicates the software is running.

You should disable it if you don't want your movements tracked


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Experts warn about Google problems on shared computers
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Experts warn about Google problems on shared computers
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

The Samsung RF23M8090SG

One of the best French door fridges we've tested

A good-looking fridge with useful features like an auto-filling water pitcher and a temperature-adjustable "FlexZone" drawer. It was a near-flawless performer in our cooling tests.