Email spam and phishing are as big a hassle as they have ever been. The numerous attempts to block or reduce spam email numbers have managed to make a small, temporary dent in the overall spam traffic at best. The same is true for phishing, as, even with ever-greater security measures, the number of attacks has been holding or rising. A new Gmail feature will hopefully make some impact on fake emails claiming to come from eBay or PayPal, as only authentic emails will now make it to your inbox.
Brad Taylor, Gmail Spam czar, said Gmail started last year “requiring that any email claiming to come from one of eBay's or PayPal's domains actually comes from them. We do that by looking at the 'From' header, and when it says 'ebay.com' for example, it means it really did come from ebay.com. Anything else is rejected; it won't even appear in your spam folder because Gmail won't accept it.”
However, since it was introduced, most people have been unaware of the feature, even though it has been working in the background, so the Gmail team has decided to add a little notification icon to the emails, so that users know they have been verified and are authentic. The feature is only available in Gmail Labs for now and can be activated from the Labs tab in the Settings panel. Enabling it will show a small key icon next to the sender verifying that the emails are “super-trustworthy.”
“'Super-trustworthy' is a technical term I just invented that means: (1) the sender, usually a financial institution, is a target of phishers, (2) all of the sender's email is authenticated with DKIM, and (3) Gmail rejects any fake messages that claim to come from this sender, but actually don't,” Taylor went on to explain.
Because it is actually pretty complicated for the senders to authenticate their emails for Gmail, the feature is only available for eBay and PayPal, the payment system owned by eBay, but Google hopes more companies will support it in the future.