Is my child's Google account safe?

Google Apps for Education

The information stored within MCA’s Google Apps domain is protected by Google Apps Security and Privacy Policies.  No user data is visible to any human eye without the consent of a MCA administrator.  Also, since we are a Google Apps for Education customer, no data-mining is performed that will submit information to outside, third-party entities.  What data-mining that is performed is done by computer algorithms and programs, in order to increase the effectiveness of its services FOR THE CUSTOMER.  That means, if a student is searching his/her mailbox for a particular message/topic, the search results may also display results from that same student’s Google Calendar or Google Drive.  Thus, Google’s datacenter is indexing his/her account, just like Windows will index the contents of your own computer hard drive, improving the effectiveness of you finding the file you’re looking for.

Also, as the administrator for our Google Apps domain, I have activated additional features that are not activated by default, or are not available to those using personal, free Gmail accounts.  Such features include enforcing SSL encryption while logged into the MCA Google account and disabling advertisements.  While your child is logged into their MCA Google account, no matter which Google service they are using it, it is done through a secure SSL connection.  If your child is using Google Search, his/her search will be protected and encrypted.  Also, I have enforced Safe Search for all of our users, which will protect them from pornographic or other inappropriate content.  By disabling advertisements, advertising agencies and other companies have no access to the content within the school’s domain and your child is protected against those annoying and sometimes inappropriate ads.  These are just a few of the additional security features that I have activated within our domain.

It is worth reemphasizing that MCA is a customer of the Google Apps for Education services.  These services are treated with increased security and privacy than consumer Gmail accounts.  For more information on Google’s Security and Privacy Polices, please go to:  http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60762.  Also, for a list of other schools using Google Apps for Education, please go to:  http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/education/customers.html.