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July 8, 2008

Gmail fights phishing and wins

Official Gmail Blog: Fighting phishing with eBay and PayPal.

Now any email that claims to come from “paypal.com” or “ebay.com” (and their international versions) is authenticated by Gmail and — here comes the important part — rejected if it fails to verify as actually coming from PayPal or eBay. That’s right: you won’t even see the phishing message in your spam folder. Gmail just won’t accept it at all. Conversely, if you get an message in Gmail where the “From” says “@paypal.com” or “@ebay.com,” then you’ll know it actually came from PayPal or eBay. It’s email the way it should be.

This is good news for anyone who has a technologically challenged grandma or simply hates getting even one more spam email. For many users, this is just a convenience since we are skeptical to begin with but for some less trained users (newBs) and those that are power users (i.e they get a lot of eBay email) this is a very good safety measure.

But you may be worried you’re not getting valid email from eBay or PayPal because of this new feature. Well, don’t. eBay and PayPal worked with Gmail to ensure valid emails get through – and only valid emails. But if you’re still worried, then make it a habit to visit those sites and look for messages every so often (as needed to feel confident of not missing email).

The rest of us will sigh a breath of relief.

Image: “illo” by aynaku

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