Gmail boosts security with its ‘padlock alert’

Posted on March 4, 2016 at 9:00 am Written by

padlock alertIf you’ve spotted something new on Gmail recently – namely a little red padlock – don’t fear, you’re not the only one.

The email service has added the new symbol as a way of flagging up whether the emails you’re sending and receiving are encrypted.

The icon is Google’s way of letting you know that you have received a message from someone (or are about to send a message to someone) whose email server doesn’t support “Transport Layer Security” (TLS) – an encryption process added to all inbound and outbound emails, ensuring that only the person whom the message was sent to will be able to open it.

The new Gmail padlock indicates you’ve received a message from someone whose email provider isn’t using TLS. However, this doesn’t mean it’s filled with malicious bugs or that it’s set to pinch your passwords and you should delete it – just be aware that you might not want to send them sensitive information (e.g. bank account details, personal address and passwords).

padlock alert

As an email marketing provider, NewZapp doesn’t support TSL but there’s no need to worry!

The reason NewZapp doesn’t support TSL, as don’t many other email service providers including MailChimp, is because if we did it would be like only allowing people who have a key to your house to deliver your mail. Doesn’t really make sense when your sending mass marketing messages does it?

Encryption only works if both the sending and receiving email systems support the security protocol and unfortunately there’s no way of telling who on a subscriber database supports encryption and who doesn’t.

So if you do see a little red padlock appearing on your emails when sending to Gmail, just remember, there’s no need for concern, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with your email and it’s fine for you to send.

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