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Google Updates Gmail with Safe Browsing To Warn Against Phishy Emails

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May 31, 2017
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Google has added new security features to Gmail, which includes new machine learning based phishing detection. The new feature detects spam and also warns users through external reply warning and other barriers.

Phishing attacks have grown in number. Last month, Google Docs invite was used as one of the tools for scamming Gmail users. To prevent such attacks in the future, Google has rolled out the new security features that use applied machine learning that delays emails selectively to perform all-round analysis on phishing attacks.

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The new features are integrated with Safe Browsing and other techniques like reputation and similarity analysis. These security tools sort through emails for phishy and shady links. It also works in connection with the previously introduced click-time warning that redirects users before they hit phishing and malware links.

In a blog post for Safe Browsing, Google writes:

Machine learning helps Gmail block sneaky spam and phishing messages from showing up in your inbox with over 99.9 percent accuracy. This is huge, given that 50-70 percent of messages that Gmail receives are spam. We’re continuing to improve spam detection accuracy with early phishing detection, a dedicated machine learning model that selectively delays messages (less than 0.05 percent of messages on average) to perform rigorous phishing analysis and further protect user data from compromise.

Google also notified the administrators about Safe Browsing, which tests results of links. It delays the emails up to four minutes to perform the analysis. For organizations that want speedy dispatch of emails, they can disable it manually. The tech giant touts that the machine learning technique used in Safe Browsing can adapt to flagging phishy emails more quickly than manual systems.

For G Suite users, Gmail will display the external warnings when they are replying to an email outside organisation’s official domain. These warnings are pretty smart and they won’t pop-up for the existing contacts that user regularly communicated with on Gmail.

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Other Security Advancements for Gmail

In addition to Safe Browsing, Gmail has also introduced other security advancements such as Hosted S/MIME for encryption of emails, Data Loss Prevention to protect user data, and Alerts when TLS encryption is not available between two accounts on Gmail.

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