Gmail users, no matter the platform, have long depended on Google's security measures to keep their devices and details safe. Marking spam and possible malicious messages as such, filtering out clear malicious messages, and other such measures are some of the big reasons that many Gmail users stay loyal to the service in the face of an insane amount of competition. Following a number of massive hacks and data breaches and in keeping with the recent focus on security in the tech world, Google has upped the ante on security for Gmail users by providing them two new warning signs that they may be looking at a malicious message.
The first concerns the sender. Google has used their own verification system, sender policy framework, along with the DKIM protocol for quite some time to validate senders on Gmail, but users will now be able to see a visual indication of the results of this screening. If a message sender is passed through both services and can't be verified or is otherwise suspicious, Gmail will show you its newest warning in place of the user's avatar (shown in the image below). That warning takes the form of a question mark, and essentially tells you that the sender could not be verified via any available means and may not be legitimate. Often, this applies to burner emails, emails generated by bots, emails made from behind proxies, and other suspicious behavior concerning email address creation. Any of these behaviors is of course, a fairly obvious sign that the message should not always be taken at face value, and could be a bad idea to download any attachments.
The second warning that Google has begun rolling out to Gmail users concerns links sent in messages. Usually, navigating to a dangerous page on Google's search service, such as one known to contain malware or be centered on phishing, will net you a full-screen warning that gives you an option to pass on through and at your own peril. Under most circumstances, that warning is a good cue to go ahead and turn back. That same warning is now coming to Gmail. Dangerous links received via email will pop up that warning just as if you had found them via a Google search.