Gmail to Alert Users Upon Receiving Unencrypted Messages

Google has decided to tighten up those loose strings that hinder their efforts to offer comprehensive protection to its users against internet attacks and phish campaigns.

In this regard, Google has added a new feature to Gmail, which will notify you whenever an unencrypted email lands into your inbox.

This new feature is aimed at curbing the online attacks that occur between two email providers and is part of Google’s years’ old efforts of offering a safer emailing environment to Gmail users.

To develop this feature, Google partnered with the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois and the resulting service is the product of a multiple-year study about the evolution of email security since 2013.

Email Security Graph / Image Source: Google

The study although was mainly sourced by Google but the results are applicable broadly to all emails not just Gmail, which is a different approach from that of their Safer Email Transparency report.

According to Nicolas Lidzborski, Security Engineering Lead at Gmail, their users’ data is most vulnerable when they receive an email message from a new or unidentified email provider.

Lidzborski states that the company is working very hard to make Gmail a highly secure emailing source for its users and introduction of features like default HTTPS for safe communication between browser and server, and Safer Email Transparency Report are stepped in the same direction.

“We’re constantly working to help make email more secure for everyone. These efforts are reflected in security protections like default HTTPS in Gmail as well as our Safer Email Transparency report, which includes information about email security beyond just Gmail,” said Lidzborski on Google Online Security Blog.

Google also introduced the password alert chrome extension, which used to warn users whenever someone tried to log into their email from an untrusted source/website.

Despite these efforts, Google realized that whenever an email is sent to-and-from two email service providers, the message is often left unencrypted leading to making the email account vulnerable to hack attacks.

However, with this new notification feature enabled in Gmail, Google believes users will be prevented from opening unencrypted messages.

As of now, 57% of all messages received from other email providers are encrypted by Gmail and the communications that take place between Gmail accounts is also encrypted all the times.

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