Google Honors Safer Internet Day with Gmail Security Changes
In honor of Safer Internet Day, which fell on Tuesday, tech giant Google revealed changes to its Gmail service. The changes were designed to warn users when an email they receive is sent over an unsecured connection or are not secure. The company began talking about these changes about a year ago, and has now enacted them on the Gmail service, which it reports just surpassed one billion active users. In addition to flagging emails that are sent over unsecured networks, Gmail will also warn users that send those emails over unsecure networks. Users will be alerted by an open-lock icon in the top-right corner of their browser when they either receive or send over unsecure networks.
Email encryption, Web security experts claim, is vital because it lowers the chances that an email can be hijacked by a third-party. Google made the switch to secure connections between Gmail users months ago, but not all email providers have followed suit. Another security measure Google adopted on Tuesday concerns email user authentication. From now on, when Gmail users receive messages from users that can't be authenticated, Gmail will display a question mark over the user's profile. The company explained in its Gmail help section that if you receive an email from a large company, like a bank or social media outlet, and the sender can't be authenticated, the message is most likely a phishing attempt or some other malicious email tactic designed to steal data.