Google has announced that it wants to warn Gmail users when they receive an e-mail that has passed through insecure connections on its way to Google’s servers. While e-mailing has become much more secure in the past couple of years, there is still a way to go, and Google is now taking yet another measure to secure its users even more against eavesdropping. After the Edward Snowden leaks, privacy has gotten a lot of attention, and eavesdropping is no longer thought to be the work of criminals, but just as much governments and security agencies.
While an increasing number of e-mails are delivered securely from the sender to the recipient, Google still finds room for improvement. In this case, mainly in terms of warning the user that an e-mail may have been intercepted by a third party. According to a study made by Google in cooperation with the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois, the number of encrypted e-mails received by Gmail has increased from 33% to 61% in just two years. Additionally, the number of TLS encrypted e-mails sent from Gmail’s servers to non Gmail recipients has increased from 60% to 80% in the same period of time.
Google states that it is working on several security measures that help keep users’ e-mails safer than is the case today, one of them being to warn users whenever an e-mail has passed through unencrypted connections before being delivered.