If you are unaware, today is actually Safer Internet Day. This is an event which was set up to promote a safer and more responsible use of online and connected technologies. So whether you are using your mobile phone, a desktop, are young or old, then today is a day which is designed to help you be better informed on being safe when online. With Google being the online presence that it is, you would expect them to be rather keen on Safer Internet Day and that does actually seem to be the case. Yesterday, Google started a promotion where you could get 2GB Google Drive space for free. All you had to do was go through some security checks. This is a promotion Google has ran before and is designed to reward you for keeping your Google account safe and secure. Following on from that and in conjunction with Safer Internet Day, Google has today announced an update to Gmail which is again designed to ensure your online activities are better protected and especially communication via email.
The blog announcement details that Google does take all the precautions they can to keep your Gmail account secure and one of the ways they do this is by encrypting your emails. Gmail does this by making use of Transport Layer Security (TLS) which looks to encrypt emails during transit. However, Google and Gmail cannot account for emails that you receive from people or companies which are not secure themselves. So while Gmail cannot directly counteract insecure emails that are received, what they can do is keep you better informed about unsafe or non-encrypted emails which land in your inbox.
On that note, Google has now confirmed that from today, any emails you receive via Gmail, which come from a source or provider which does not support TLS encryption, Gmail will let you know that the email is not TLS supported. This will happen by the appearance of a small unlocked padlock icon which will appear at the top right corner of the email screen. This will be the case for both emails received from unsupported TLS accounts and emails being sent to unsupported accounts. Another new feature announced today is to do with email authentication. When receiving emails and most commonly from companies, Gmails look to authenticate the sender of the email. A method which is somewhat designed to limit the impact of spam on your account. If an email arrives in your inbox and it cannot be authenticated then you will now see a question mark icon appear where the sender’s profile icon normally does. A feature designed to try and at least inform you that you should be a little more skeptical of the particular email. In terms of the new features, these will be arriving for your web version of Gmail this week.