Google bolsters Gmail security with anti-spam and early phishing detection

gmail early phishing detection inbox
Gmail is already really, really good at identifying spam, but it’s about to get even better. Google announced a series of new security features today that aim to make businesses that rely on Gmail even more secure, though the enhancements will no doubt benefit ordinary users, too.

First, to get a sense of how intelligent the company’s machine learning models have become at flagging malicious communications, Google claims Gmail now identifies spam and phishing attempts with 99.9 percent accuracy. That’s a stunning statistic, but the search giant still isn’t satisfied — which is why it has bolstered its efforts with a new technology called early phishing detection.

Early phishing detection withholds some messages from delivery for a brief time — less than 0.05 percent, Google says — to perform deeper analysis. The service checks these messages against other similarly suspicious examples to generate a more accurate model, strengthening Gmail’s detection abilities. If you happen to click on an email and stumble upon a warning of suspected phishing, this is the process that’s keeping you at arm’s length from the sketchy stuff.

But, of course, Gmail users are human (mostly), and occasionally make human mistakes — like accidentally divulging company secrets. Google is aware of this, which explains another critical update it is rolling out to business users. If you attempt to send an email to someone outside your employer’s domain that you don’t have a history of contacting, Gmail will now warn you before you click the send button.

In addition to early phishing detection and unintended reply warnings, Gmail has also gotten better at sniffing out malicious attachments by tapping into sender heuristics and common spam signals. Google also blocks certain file types, like .exe, that pose greater security risks. For more information on all of Gmail’s security updates, Google’s Andy Wen dove into the finer details in a recent blog entry.


Best deals on home security cameras to save you from package thieves

Home security camera systems can help keep your home and your family safe. Amazon's deals on Blink security cameras and Ring Video Doorbells also help you save money on devices you can access regardless of your current location.

These are the 5 best free antivirus apps to protect your MacBook

Malware protection is more important than ever, even if you eschew Windows in favor of Apple's desktop platform. Thankfully, protecting your machine is as easy as choosing from the best free antivirus apps for Mac suites.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.