Your email is about to get safer if you are a Gmail user! This week in the Gmail Blog, Product Manager John Rae-Grant talked about a couple of changes to Gmail on the web that will allow users to see if an email might not be as secure as it should be.
First, Gmail will display a broken lock symbol in the upper right of the email window if it is not encrypted in transit with TLS. And second, Gmail will display a red “?” next to the sender’s name in the email window if the message could not be authenticated. A couple of months ago we had Jon on an Agari webinar where I got to talk to him about his vision of the authenticated email world (you can view the webinar here).
I’m a huge fan of these moves by Gmail and applaud them for making their users safer. Of course here at Agari, our core philosophy is that email cannot ever be safe without authentication. We are prone to call the lack of authentication built into the basic email protocols the “original sin” of email.
Our products help businesses authenticate their email and allow them to protect their customers and employees by stopping unauthenticated email. But email authentication is always something that has happened behind the scenes. Making the end user aware of the safety or potential lack of safety of their email is a necessary step forward. I believe that ultimately we will get to a point where unauthenticated email simply will never be delivered to end users, ever. But until then, nice job Gmail and we hope to see other email services following you soon!