Gmail Adds Detailed Sender Information to Improve Security

This will definitely help; I’m surprised it took so long …

When I was working in tech support for a large German financial corporation I regularly had to deal with support requests by customers who received phishing emails. It took a lot to convince the majority of customers that those phishing emails were not sent by the company, but by criminals. Especially fake email addresses were a problem, as many could not understand that it was possible to fake the email sender.

Google recently announced changes to their email service Gmail that would aid users in determining the real sender of an email message.

Google actually has added a series of improvements to Gmail. Emails from a sender who is not already in a Gmail user’s contacts are now shown prominently in the header. This change makes it easier to identify the sender directly without having to look at all email headers.

google email sender phishing

But the changes do not stop here. It sometimes happens that someone sends an email for another user or from another website, for instance by using a web form. This is now also reflected in the email header directly. Gmail users now see the name of the sender as well as the sender’s email address and a via link.

email send via

Probably the biggest change from an anti-phishing point of view is a new warning that appears if Gmail believes that the email could have been sent by someone else. Gmail shows a “This message may not have been sent by” warning underneath the sender with links to learn more and to report a phishing email.

fake email

All three additions are visible directly when an email has been opened on the Gmail website. The new information improve security for all Gmail users, provided that those users pay attention to the notifications and additional information.

Especially the first two additions can be overlooked easily due to their gray font color on white background. The phishing warning on the other hand uses a yellow background so that it can be easily spotted by everyone. (via)

© Martin Brinkmann for gHacks Technology News | Latest Tech News, Software And Tutorials, 2011. | Permalink |
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