Google announced some changes to Gmail to keep users safe. For one, if you receive a message from or are about to send a message to a person whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption, Gmail will display a broken lock icon in the message.
If you get a message that can’t be authenticated, the sender’s profile photo/avatar will have a question mark displayed.
“Gmail has always supported encryption in transit using TLS, and will automatically encrypt your incoming and outgoing emails if it can,” writes product manager John Rae-Grant. “We support industry-standard authentication to help combat email impersonation. And there are tons of other security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe.”
“Of course, it takes at least two people to send and receive an email, so it’s really important that other services take similar measures to protect your messages—not just Gmail,” Rae-Grant adds. “Unfortunately, not all email services do.”
As Google notes, just because an email is affected by one of these features, it doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a dangerous email. It will just help users be extra cautious.
The features were announced for “Safe Internet Day” on Tuesday.