From what I understand Google reads/scans all my emails so that they cab "provide" targeted ads and maybe for other reasons.

If a have a group of people who want to hide their emails from Google, how can they best do that in a simple way? Maybe the group has a topic that they are discussing that they don't want Google to know that they are discussing.

The only idea I have is to use a simple encryption. My question is if the simple ROT13 will substitution will work? I understand that few people probably have a good insight into how Google's email scanners work, but maybe someone can make a qualified guess?

Again, I am not interested (in this question) in strong encryption, just something that can hide text from the email scanners.

EDIT: Just to make it totally clear, I am only interested in how to hide things from the automated scripts that Google uses to scan my email. I am not interested here in the situation where a Google employee manually looks at my email.

closed as not constructive by AviD Mar 17 '13 at 15:16

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    How are you going to know whether you have succeeded or not? – Ladadadada Mar 17 '13 at 14:42
  • @Ladadadada: I don't know, maybe if I don't get ads relating to the topic that I am trying to hide... I was just hoping for some expert answers on how (in general) to hide things from the automated scanners. I am not looking for an absolute guarantee. – Thomas Mar 17 '13 at 15:09
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    @Thomas, as one of the answers noted - if you dont want to see ads from Google, don't use Google's free email service. This is a free service, funded by ads, not by the goodness of Google's hearts. The "scanning" that Google does is for the sole purpose of serving you ads. That is the price for using this free service. – AviD Mar 17 '13 at 15:17
  • Don't use Google GMail. Just that simple. Let some other service read your email. Or find a service that uses smime and exclusively use that for correspondence. – Fiasco Labs Mar 17 '13 at 18:54
  • @FiascoLabs: Do you have an example? – Thomas Mar 17 '13 at 19:02

ROT13 ought to be enough to ensure that the GMail automated scripts won't be able to make any sense of your text. However, a GMail employee with access can still read the email. If you want to stop all snooping, you may have to use PGP encryption. (See this tutorial for more detail, it isn't too hard to set up.)

The most secure solution is to use your own mail server. (Plaintext email can still be snooped on by a man-in-the-middle, use PGP with this).

  • Thanks for this answer. I am only interested in hiding from the automated scripts (as I was trying to say in my question). – Thomas Mar 17 '13 at 15:04

The best way to hide an email from Google is to stop using gmail. Switch over to outlook or one of the many alternative services out there.

Sure, encryption can work. Use PGP or something similar, don't roll your own. But if your motives is simply due to paranoia and suspicion of Google, don't use their services. Simple.

  • The assumption in my questions is that I continue to use Gmail. As mentioned, I am not interested in strong encryption. – Thomas Mar 17 '13 at 15:05
  • I just did a scan of my emails, that I got since I personally stopped using gmail since half a year ago. Out of my 10000 emails around 7500 mentioned google.com somewhere in the raw email. It is not easy to hide, just by switching to something else... – fbence May 2 '16 at 17:00

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