We are sure you must have noticed a little padlock sign on the top of mails on you have been receiving on Gmail of late and wondered what it is. This new security feature is meant to alert users of accounts that don’t have encryption and could be compromised.
This doesn’t mean you should not continue to communicate with such accounts and is a safety feature to make you aware that there is a chance of someone other than the intended person seeing a particular mail. Encryption prevent anyone from snooping into the connects of emails.
The feature, launched to mark Safer Internet Day earlier this week, and the Gmail blog says while it “will automatically encrypt your incoming and outgoing emails if it can” it is “really important that other services take similar measures to protect your messages”. So from now the broken lock symbol will appear if “you receive a message from, or are about to send a message to, someone whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption, you’ll see a broken lock icon in the message”.
Messages from sources that can’t be authenticated by Gmail will appear as a question mark icon in place of the regular avatar or corporate logo.
“Not all affected email will necessarily be dangerous. But we encourage you to be extra careful about replying to, or clicking on links in messages that you’re not sure about,” the blog signs off.