A report published in the “Wall Street Journal” found that while Google itself indicated more than a year ago that it would stop reading your mail to target ads, hundreds of third-party software developers might be doing just that for marketing purposes. And in some cases, the Journal found, people, and not just computers, could be reading your Gmail.

There are basic steps you can take to help prevent such access.

Start by clicking on your account information in the upper right hand corner of the Gmail screen. As an alternative, type account.google.com in your browser.

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Next, click Sign-in & Security and scroll down to the “Apps with account access” section. This is where you can keep track of which apps or services you gave permission to access your account, and remove the ones you no longer use or trust.

To do that, click the “Manage Apps” link. Google has segregated apps into three main sections: Google’s own apps; the apps and sites you use to sign into Google; and the third-party apps with account access.

Google’s own apps include listings for the likes of Chromecast, Google Chrome or, an otherwise unnamed “Google Assistant Enabled Device.”

If you click on any of these items, you’ll see when access was given, what kind of access it has, and a “Remove Access” button.