Your Google Alerts can be deleted by anyone

I found out the hard way that my Google Alerts can be deleted by anyone, if they have access to the “Remove” URL.

Here’s how it works: Google will send you e-mail alerts whenever it finds results for any search terms you specify. At the bottom of each message there are 3 links:

  • “Remove this alert”
  • “Create another alert”
  • “Manage your alerts”

The problem is with the first link. I tried it several times, first using Chrome‘s incognito mode but then opening the link on a different browser, making sure that I wasn’t signed in to any Google application.

What happens is that, whenever I open that link, Google removes the alert without asking me to sign in! Google simply presents a message saying “Google Alert cancelled”.

So, be careful when forwarding those Google Alerts e-mails to someone else as they might be able to remove your alert!