Google did a couple of things to celebrate the Safer Internet Day on Tuesday. One of them was to reward Google Drive users who checked their accounts’ security settings with an extra 2GB of storage; the other was to introduce some new security features to Gmail.
The two new authentication features are designed to alert users when emails are potentially harmful or not fully secure. The first notification will inform you if you’re sending a message to a recipient whose email provider doesn’t support TLS encryption.
The alert comes in the form of a broken padlock in the top right corner, which will also appear if you receive an email from an account that is not encrypted. Clicking on the icon will show a pop-up, warning users that the other person uses a non-encrypted email service.
“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,” Google said in its blog.
From now on, whenever you receive a message from, or are writing to, an address that isn’t encrypted, Gmail will throw up a flag in the form of a red lock icon. This is to let you know that sensitive information should not be shared on that particular missive.