Google’s Gmail will now warn users of malicious links in messages

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1: Gmail on Android and the web will warn users if they receive a message with a dangerous or malicious link.

Google’s Gmail is getting a new security update on Android and the web, where it will warn users if they receive a message with a dangerous or malicious link. Google’s App Security blog posted they will warn users if they receive a message that can’t be authenticated with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DKIM. Users’ will notice a question mark appear next to the sender’s profile photo, corporate logo or avatar, highlighting a potential risk.

Google’s blogpost on the Gmail updates says, “On the web, if you receive a message with a link to a dangerous site known for phishing, malware, and Unwanted Software, you’ll begin to see warnings when you click on the link.” Google says these warnings are an extension of the Safe Browsing protection available to various web browsers today.

However the blogpost also points out that not all affected email might be dangerous, but says it will still ask users to be extra careful when replying to links in messages where the authentication is not clear. Google says the initial rollout will be slow, but it will impact all users.

Google has always taken user security seriously on Gmail, and had even stated it would start warning them about a potential attacks from governments. In 2014, Google announced it would use the encrypted HTTPs connection to make email safer for users. Gmail asks users to rely on two-step verification for better security and protection of their account, given it is linked to almost all Google services.
In February this year, Google announced it will automatically encrypt all incoming and outgoing emails, if it could. Emails which are not encrypted have the broken lock symbol next to them, as emails can come from a service provider, which doesn’t support TLS encryption.

Gmail remains one of the most used email services in the world, and it crossed 1 billion monthly active users this year. Other Google services which have over 1 billion users include Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube and Google Play services.

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