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Google improves Gmail security features that warn of malicious links and state-sponsored attacks

By midian182
Mar 25, 2016
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  1. Google is on a quest to make Gmail the safest email service around by introducing a couple of new security improvements. The features are designed to help Gmail’s billion-plus users avoid phishing, malware, and malicious software, as well as alerting them if they’re the suspected target of a state-sponsored hacking attempt.

    Google’s Safe Browsing technology, which launched eight years ago, provides lists of URLs that contain malware or phishing content to various web resources. The security feature is found in Google products such as Chrome, Android, and Ads.

    Safer Browsing is already used in Gmail; it warns if a message contains a potentially dangerous link. Starting this week, Google is extending the alert by showing users a full-page warning if they decide to click on the malicious link.

    Google - like Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo - informs users if it suspects they are being spied on by state-sponsored actors. The feature was brought to Gmail in 2012, and although there has only been a small number of people who have seen the warnings – less than 0.1 percent – Google is improving the alerts as it says they are “critically important.” With the update, an additional full-page warning will be introduced that includes instructions about how targeted users can stay safe.

    Last month, Google celebrated Safer Internet Day by introducing a new feature to Gmail that warned users when they sent and received emails over unsecured connections. The company said that in the 44 days since it was introduced, the amount of inbound mail sent over an encrypted connection increased 25 percent.

    “We’re very encouraged by this progress! Given the relative ease of implementing encryption and its significant benefits for users, we expect to see this progress continue,” Google said.

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