It Makes Me Nervous When My Assistant Searches My Email. So I Came Up With a Fix.

11th July 2019 Off By binary
It Makes Me Nervous When My Assistant Searches My Email. So I Came Up With a Fix.
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Is your assistant snooping in your inbox? I’ve definitely wondered about that before.

During the course of a typical week, I often need an assistant from my team to find information in my email account.

Until now, I’ve had two options:

  1. I can dig it out myself (which takes up my time), or
  2. I have to give that person access to my email account (which makes me nervous).

For example, I’ll ask the assistant to make a purchase from Amazon for me. To do that, the assistant needs to log in to my Amazon account, but they don’t have the username and password. So the assistant has a “password reset” request sent.

How do I get that password reset link back to the assistant?

I have to send it to the assistant myself (again, takes up time) or share my password and give the assistant access to my inbox. I’m just not comfortable with that option. I use one main email address for work as well as for personal matters. Giving someone unfettered access to my inbox just makes me nervous.

I came up with the general idea last spring and started working up a solution.

I have become an expert in the Gmail API from building my other product, GMass, so I built a prototype using .NET and the Gmail API on the backend, and HTML and JavaScript on the front-end.

I built this as a standard web app, a departure from my recent app type of choice, Chrome extensions.

After a couple of months, SearchMyEmail.com was born!

The basic idea: it lets anyone (with permission) search your Gmail account so that you’ll know exactly what they search.

Here’s how it works:

  • A “boss” designates “assistants” that can search his/her email account through SearchMyEmail.com (you don’t need to give anyone your email password).
  • Once an assistant is granted access, everything that’s searched is reported back to the boss. This way, you can make sure they’re not searching for something salacious like “sex” or “employee salaries.”
  • The assistant knows that everything he/she searches for is reported back to the boss.

The goal is to provide a way for your assistant to work more efficiently, and you won’t be left wondering whether anyone is snooping in your inbox.


It Makes Me Nervous When My Assistant Searches My Email. So I Came Up With a Fix. was originally published in HackerNoon.com on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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