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Gmail beefing up spam protection with new features

Justin Morgan / Unsplash

Email spam has been a persistent issue since the inception of email, and unfortunately, the problem has only intensified over time. However, Google is taking steps to address this by implementing new inbox protection measures. In a recent blog post, Google unveiled fresh requirements for individuals sending bulk emails.

Starting in February 2024, anyone intending to send more than 5,000 messages to Gmail addresses within a single day will need to take extra steps. Senders will be required to authenticate their emails, a measure designed to close the loopholes typically exploited by attackers who threaten email users. This authentication process involves adhering to Google’s recommended best practices, such as implementing DKIM or SPF authentication for their email domain. Bulk senders will also need to establish a one-click unsubscribe option for recipients. Additionally, Google will introduce a “clear spam threshold” to prevent Gmail users from being inundated with unwanted messages. The company described this spam threshold as an “industry first” and expects it to result in Gmail users receiving fewer spam emails.

Notably, Yahoo users will also benefit from these new spam prevention measures. Google has collaborated with Yahoo (Engadget’s parent company) to implement these changes early next year. Over the years, Google and other tech companies have been engaged in an ongoing battle against spammers who send fraudulent emails to unsuspecting users. As spammers continually evolve their tactics, Google must continue innovating to protect its users.

According to Google product manager Neil Kumaran, “These changes are like a tune-up for the email world, and by fixing a few things under the hood, we can keep email running smoothly. But just like a tune-up, this is not a one-time exercise. Keeping email more secure, user-friendly, and spam-free requires constant collaboration and vigilance from the entire email community.”

While it may be argued that these measures should have been implemented years ago, it is reassuring to see major tech companies proactively addressing user safety. Spam emails have undeniably become a serious problem, leading to numerous reports of individuals, especially the elderly, falling victim to scams involving large sums of money after responding to emails from supposed royalty or clicking links from refund scammers. Whether Google’s new measures will significantly improve the current situation remains to be seen. It’s likely that spam will persist as long as email exists, but these measures may help mitigate its impact on our primary inboxes.

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