Gmail's latest feature is one we've all been waiting for: official email address domains will possess a blue checkmark (much like Twitter) to confirm their authenticity. While this isn't going to stop every scam from doing damage to helpless users, it could be a great blow against suspicious emails.
Google's initiative for a safer emailing space started in 2021 with the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), which asked businesses to upload a profile picture depicting their brand logo. Now, those brands that underwent that extensive authentication process will begin to see a blue checkmark next to their name.
Gmail users won't have to take action to activate this feature, but admins of businesses can go to Google's Help Center to figure out how to begin the BIMI process. This process involves adopting DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication) and being issued a Certification Authority, with the two examples listed being Entrust or DigiCert.
Will Gmail's blue checkmarks be all that safe?
While the inclusion of this feature is undeniably positive, Google doesn't have the best reputation with cybersecurity. It's only been a couple of months since a fake version of Chat GPT made its way on the Google extension store and stole data from up to 9,000 downloaders. Just because Google is now verifying certain emails, are we certain that those with verification can't still be scammers?
Regardless of whether or not an email domain has a blue checkmark, we recommend exercising caution anyway. If Google can approve an extension on its official store that ends up stealing consumer's data, the company could potentially also verify an email address with suspicious intentions.