Google Beefs Up Its Gmail Security Features

PHOTO: The Gmail logo is pictured on the top of a Gmail.com welcome.Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Gmail logo is pictured on the top of a Gmail.com welcome.

Google is rolling out an updated security warning system this week for Gmail users that the company says is designed to make sure they don't fall victim to cyber attacks.

The first security warning will be triggered when a user clicks on a link in Gmail that Google suspects to be dangerous. They'll be shown a full-page warning and offered several ways to get more information about the threat, along with ways to protect their computer from malicious "badware" that could undermine their online security. Alternatively, a user can proceed to the flagged website at their own risk.

A second enhancement gives suspected targets of state-sponsored hacking attempts a full-page warning along with information on how to protect their accounts. The new full-page alert is in addition to Google's existing warning, which shows up as a red strip with a link at the top of a suspected victim's Gmail page.

Suspected state-sponsored hacking attempts are rare and impact 0.1 percent of Gmail users, according to Google's online security blog.

The search engine giant also shared an update on a new icon it launched last month -- a broken red lock -- which tells users when they're communicating with an account that does not support encryption. Google said the amount of inbound mail sent over an encrypted connection has increased 25 percent since the icon was implemented.