Friday, August 12, 2016

No Need To Panic Just Yet

Some Gmail users have been wondering and worrying recently about new emails popping up in their inboxes with a new unlocked icon.

However, they should not fear this. According to Yahoo! Tech, this is just Google's way of telling everyone that an email they have received isn't as secure as it should be.

Emails that have not been authenticated by TLS encryption (transport layer security) will show this red unlocked icon, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the sender is an evil spammer sneaking into the inbox.

What TLS encryption does is protect the security of email messages as they travel from sender to recipient. That encryption makes sure that the sender's email remains private, preventing third parties from taking a peek at the message or tampering with it as it makes its way to its final destination.

So if they see this icon, and the message has anything to do with sensitive information (finances, passwords, etc.), users should be concerned and take steps to contact the sender about the insecure email. But outside of emails containing sensitive information, that scary lock icon may just be an indication that the email could be compromised or that sender isn't taking its security as seriously as they should be.

Again, if they see the red unlocked icon, they should not immediately reach for the Send to Spam button, just take special note of that particular message. No need to panic, just keep the guard up.

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