We’re in the era of the hack, and with an increasing amount of data breaches, it can be important to take the appropriate steps to be as safe as possible online. Google has taking a few steps to make Gmail a little safer for users, both on Android and the web.
The new features were announced in a blog post, and include security warnings for users who may be visiting harmful websites, and for people who may have been sent a message that can’t be authenticated.
First up, Gmail will now warn you if a message that you’ve been sent can’t be properly authenticated with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DKIM. SPF is basically a way for spam messages to be identified and recorded, so that in the future you and others will be warned if another email comes from the same person. If you’re a business owner with Google Apps, you can create an SPF record that identifies the mail servers that are authorized for your domain.
DKIM, on the other hand, involves you adding a digital signature to your messages with the DKIM standard. This signature then tells the server to encrypt outgoing mail, after which a public key can be used to decrypt the email once it has arrived at its destination.
The second step that Google is taking to make Gmail safer is that on the desktop version of Gmail, if you get an email that has a link to a known dangerous website, you’ll see warnings when you click on the link and before you’re taken to the link address.
It’s important to note that not every single malicious site will be identified and and a warning given — only the known ones.
Google is always updating and refining security practices, not just on Gmail but on other Google services, too. It’s likely we’ll continue to see these updates as time goes on.