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Gmail will start rolling out brand logos with emails to prevent hackers

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google will soon roll out brand logos in emails to show they are from an authentic organisation.
  • The new feature will show an organisation’s logo in the user’s inbox in the avatar slot when they send an email.
  • Google says it will validate ownership of BIMI organisation logos and securely transmit them to Google.

Gmail will soon start showing authenticated brand logos for companies that opt for it. The service will start rolling out in the coming weeks, Google noted. It uses Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) that involves adding logos to emails that aim to show that emails are authentic and not spam. The new feature will show an organisation’s logo in the user’s inbox in the avatar slot when they send an email. Google notes that it uses a technology called Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC), which helps reduce spoofed and phishing emails.

“BIMI provides email recipients and email security systems increased confidence in the source of emails and enables senders to provide their audience with a more immersive experience,” Google noted in a blog post. It further noted that BIMI enables organisations that authenticate their emails using Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) which is “a standard for providing strong sender authentication that allows security systems to perform better filtering, separating legitimate messages from potentially spoofed ones”. Google says it will validate ownership of their logos and securely transmit them to Google.

Google further notes that DMARC will help mail administrators prevent hackers and other attackers from spoofing their organisation and domain. Spoofing refers to when the From address of an email message is forged. “A spoofed message appears to be from the impersonated organization or domain,” Google says on its support page.

Google piloted BIMI in 2019 and notes that logos will appear for companies that authenticate their emails using Sender Policy Framework (SPF) or DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) to authenticate their mail. Reports note that SPF and DKIM are email authentication techniques that are used to keep spammers in check. Organisations using these technologies have to face repercussions if their emails are marked as spam by users.

“Once these authenticated emails pass all of our other anti-abuse checks, Gmail will start displaying the logo in existing avatar slots in the Gmail UIm,” the company said in a blog post. The logos will appear in the small circular avatar slot next to an email on Gmail.

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