For as long as we have had email there have been individuals trying to use it for nefarious purposes. Today Google has announced two new security warnings into Gmail in an attempt to make email safer for everyone.

The first warning will replace a sender’s avatar with a ? if Google is unable to authenticate the sender using either Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). You may have seen this in Gmail already, we’re seeing reports that this may have been in testing already, the new feature will work on both Android and the Web.

Unauth Profile Pictures

The second security warning is exclusive on the web version of Gmail for now. If you click a link from an email that goes to a site known for phishing, malware or Unwanted Software you will now get a full page warning before continuing onto the site.

Safer Links in Gmail

Google points out that not all avatars that get replaced by a ?, or site that get a pop-up warning will be harmful, however, it is an indication that you need to be careful about what links you click on. It’s unclear if these features will also roll out to Inbox as well as Gmail so we will have to wait to see as it rolls out over the next 3 weeks. Until then stay safe.

Source: Google.
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

This has been around for weeks already, if not months!

Ashley Sommer

Yeh, I’ve had the questionmark icon appearing on the web client and the Android app for at least 4 weeks.

Phill Edwards

So have I but I had no idea it was a security warning until I read this article! Not great UX from the guys at Google.

Ashley Sommer

I was confused at first too, but I quickly found that if you mouse hover over the icon in the web app, it tells you that it could not verify the identity of the sender, so I figured it was a new security feature.