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Beware, Gmail users! This new feature can put your security at risk

With the Gmail redesign, scammers could send out fake versions of confidential email alerts and trick a user into entering sensitive details

IANS  |  San Francisco 

Google, Gmail
Google redesigns Gmail web client

users have been alerted about a new feature which could be leveraged by online crooks to carry out a wave of scams, media reported.

The company, in April, unveiled its brand new design which introduced a clean new user interface and a swathe of new features including the ability to snooze a message, auto-generate smart replies and self-destruct emails in the brand new "Confidential Mode".

"It's the which is at the centre of security fears," Express.co.uk reported on Saturday.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reportedly issued an alert on the "potential emerging threat... for nefarious activity" with the redesign, the report said.

"We have reached out to Google to inform them of intelligence relevant to their services and to partner to improve our mutual interests in cybersecurity," Lesley Fulop, DHS spokesperson said.

Central to these fears was the new "Confidential Email" feature that can require users to click a link in order to access these messages.

If you're a user using the official website then the "Confidential Email" appears when you click to open it. It shows a date for when the content will expire and informs the users that the email can't be forwarded or downloaded.

However, its different if you're a viewing the message as a third-party client or a non-who receives a confidential email.

In those cases, instead of the message appearing in their browser, users have to click a button to view the email. And this is where the security fears lie.

With the Gmail redesign, could send out fake versions of confidential email alerts and trick a user into entering sensitive details.

"The tech giant is committed to protecting the security of users' personal information and hence, had created "machine learning" algorithms to detect potential phishing scams that cyber criminals carry out," said Google spokesman Brooks Hocog.

Phishing scams are where cybercriminals try to trick victims into clicking on seemingly trustworthy links in order to steal sensitive personal information.

 

First Published: Sun, July 22 2018. 14:53 IST
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