How do you identify or differentiate a genuine brand logo from a fake one—especially when the content of the email looks so genuine? The truth is that scammers are always using logos that look like the genuine ones when sending emails to their targets—it is a problem that has long existed, but Google is already doing something about it. Google-owned Gmail has upgraded the security standard for the world’s most popular free email service.
Brand Indicators for Message Identification or ‘BIMI’ for short, builds authentication directly into brand’s logo, which allows you to identify fake logos. With this in place, it is difficult to fall for scam or phishing emails, which has the potential to remove billions of phishing emails.
So, how does BIMI work? BIMI works by enabling companies to validate ownership of their corporate logos directly with Google. In a blog post announcing the integration, Google said: “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 UI.” Once a brand logo has been authenticated by Gmail, it becomes easy to identify verified emails.
It provides a safe environment for everyone—brands and customers. When you receive an email from your bank for example, you have this confidence that it is not from a scammer because the logo has been authenticated by Google. That said, companies will still need to send their logos to Google for authentication before it can be authenticated.
“BIMI provides benefits to the whole email ecosystem. By requiring strong authentication, users and email security systems can have increased confidence in the source of emails, and senders will be able to leverage their brand trust and provide their customers with a more immersive experience.”
In 2019, Gmail launched ‘Confidential’ mode; a feature that offers a suite of email protection to users, and also confirms Gmail as one of the most secure email services in the world. Shortly after launching the feature on the web version of its email service, Google brought Confidential mode to mobile.
Confidential mode is a feature that allows you to send email messages that expire to your contacts. It prevents recipients of such mails from copying or resending or downloading them. To set up the feature, you can do the following:
- Click the Compose button.
- In the bottom right of the Compose box, click to turn on the Confidential mode [represented by a padlock and a clock logo] button as seen below.
- Edit the expiry date, which be default expires in 1 week as can be seen in the image.
- Click whether you want an SMS passcode or not by checking the appropriate box.
- Save and exit.