The Times Of India, the state-owned newspaper, on Thursday said it will be opening its email service, Gmail, to the public soon, amid fears that hackers are trying to steal information from users’ accounts.
The service is the latest service to be hit by a spate of data breaches in recent months.
In March, Google disclosed that it had been hacked in 2015.
And last month, the online retailer Amazon said hackers had stolen data from more than 400 million customer accounts, a figure that was based on “roughly 200 million email accounts”.
In a blog post, the Times said that the company would open the service to anyone who wants to use it.
It will also offer an “email privacy feature” to users.
The move is being hailed by cybersecurity experts, who said it would help protect users from hackers by making it easier for users to get their information back if they are not 100% certain that they have not been the victim of a cyberattack.
The Times said it planned to provide “a privacy dashboard” to customers, so that they could manage their privacy.
“Gmail is a service that people have entrusted with their most private information and it has to remain secure,” said Naveen Kumar, managing editor of cyber security publication The Wire.
“When a hacker wants to see a user’s account information, they can look at the privacy dashboard.”
Mr Kumar, who also serves as the chief executive officer of security firm Cyber Security Consulting, said that while the Times of Israel is a big company with the resources to defend itself, the security measures needed to protect the sensitive information of more than a billion people are not yet there.
He said the lack of measures in place to protect emails from hackers could cause more problems in the future.
“It is not easy for companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft or Apple to offer their users security features that would protect their emails,” he said.
“In the future, the level of protection that companies are offering for email would have to be similar to what is offered by the public sector banks.”
Security experts said the move would help the country fight back against a cyber-attack.
“The email services are crucial for the public to stay connected and have a secure connection,” said Amit Khatun, an independent security consultant.
“If they want to get a secure service, they have to give up email access,” he added.
“This is what we have been saying for the last decade, that the most important thing is for governments to give security a bigger priority.”
Mr Khatuns remarks came after the US government warned the government to take steps to protect sensitive information from hacking.
“It’s very important for our government to make this a priority.
It’s not just for the US, it’s for the whole world,” said James Comey, the FBI director.