Let's get straight to it. If you use Gmail, you are in danger of being stalked by undesirables. Google has just made it easy for them to do it, and hard for you to stop it. Here's what you need to know:
It all begins with Google+. That is Google's answer to Facebook, though I am still unclear as to why Facebook needed an answer. You may not use the service, but chances are, you have a Google+ account about which you have completely forgotten. A little over a year ago, Google realized that no one outside of the geek community was using Google+. So they started a program to force people to use it. They made it mandatory for signing into Google services such as YouTube.
Now, Google has more intimately tied that Google+ account to your Gmail account. Soon, people will be able to send email to your Gmail account via Google+. They no longer need your email address. They only need your Google+ handle. This is perfect for spammers and stalkers, but does nothing good for average people. It is possible to turn off this setting, but you have to find it. The feature is opt-out, so you are automatically opted in, whether or not you want to be.
This is a perfect example of why I hate this company so much. They give no regard to your humanity. It is as if they are a bunch of robots dressed in human suits, but with no real idea of what it means to be human. At Google, it never occurs to anyone to even ask if a policy harms the privacy of the user. You are not a person, merely a product to be exploited to its fullest potential. They could care less if this allows an abusive, ex-partner to find you. Such a consideration never even crosses their minds.
Thing is, they do know better, and do it anyway. The reason I know that is that no Google execs have any of their personal information out in the open. No one can stalk them or their families. They care a great deal about their privacy, and not a fig about yours. They are like congressmen who wax on about the necessity of public education funding, while sending their kids to private school. Google execs know better than to eat the same services they feed to the animals, and by animals, I mean all of us. It is a pre-calculated kind of evil that boggles the mind.
Just a reminder, iCloud is free to users of Apple products. The mail is push and secure. Apple does not read it to serve you ads, or sell the contents to the highest bidder. And the only way people can send you an email is to actually know the address. With Apple, you buy products. With Google, you are products.