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Gmail will soon warn you about risky emails

Gmail will soon warn you about risky emails
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

Not too many years ago, you sent and received emails without thinking too much about security. That has changed over the past few years as hackers have become more sophisticated, and as the government's snooping on you was exposed by Edward Snowden.

These days, most emails are secured using encryption, which is a method of hiding your information behind passwords. Google has been ramping up its use of encryption on its Gmail service.

Now, Google is working to alert you when you receive an unencrypted email. This warning follows a multiyear study by Google, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois.

They found some good news related to email security. Notably, 61% of non-Gmail emails coming into Gmail are encrypted, up from 33% two years ago.

Gmail has security features, too. For example, Gmail defaults to using HTTPS, which encrypts your messages.

Still, Google and the universities found that, while most emails are encrypted, there are areas of the "Internet actively preventing message encryption by tampering with requests to initiate SSL connections." SSL connections are used to established encrypted links between a Web browser and a server.

Google also said they found malicious servers that create fake routing information to email servers that were trying to connect with Gmail. Attackers could intercept your emails and change them. Google says this kind of attack is rare, but still a concern.

Google's upcoming warning system will alert Gmail users if messages from a non-encrypted connection. That warning system will roll out over the next few months.

 

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