Gmail is getting an easier unsubscribe option and new ways to combat spam emails

Oct 4, 2023

Google is making it easier to unsubscribe from unwanted marketing emails in Gmail. The service is also adding a layer of options to reduce spam.

Even in the era of smartphones, mixed reality headsets and whatnot, email spam continues to be a major problem for users. These are not just annoying marketing emails like deals and promotional offers, some of these could be malicious and may be used in phishing attacks, or to steal your account's credentials, and in turn your digital identity as well.

Google says that Gmail's AI-powered filters block 99.9% of spam, phishing and malware from landing in users' inboxes. The email service prevents about 15 billion unwanted emails per day. But Google has had it with this nonsense, it has announced some new requirements that bulk senders, i.e. those who send over 5000 mails to Gmail addresses per day, will need to follow.

Authentication for Bulk Senders

Google's announcement highlights that many bulk senders don't have good security systems in place to protect their accounts, and that this could allow attacks to impersonate them. The Mountain View company had set some requirements last year to authenticate the validity of emails, and it says that this preventive measure helped reduce the number of unauthenticated messages in Gmail by 75%.

Now, Google wants bulk senders to authenticate their accounts by using some best practices that it has documented. This includes using DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), in order to prevent spoofing and phishing attacks.

Easier Unsubscribe option from emails

Have you ever noticed how some email newsletters don't have an unsubscribe option at all? Some of these have a footnote that ask you to reply to the mail with "unsubscribe". Those are really dumb and annoying. Well, you could just block the sender by creating some filters, but a lot of people don't know how to use these features. Hopefully, Gmail's new unsubscribe option will make things easier for users.

Commercial mails that are sent from large senders will need to have an option to allow Gmail users to unsubscribe from their channel in one click. Google says that the unsubscription requests for these should be processed within 2 days.

Spam Rate Threshold

Google is introducing a new rule for bulk senders to prevent unwanted messages from landing in users' inboxes. The email service will enforce a spam rate threshold that large senders will need to stay under. According to Google's documentation, it advises email senders to try to keep their spam rate below 0.10%, and to avoid a spam rate of 0.30% or higher. Google says that this is an industry first move that has been designed to protect users from spam.

The company says that these practices should be considered basic email hygiene, and that many senders already meet most of these requirements. Google plans to enforce these new rules from February 2024.
Gmail is not the only one that is doing these, other email services also want to enforce such rules. Marcel Becker, Sr. Dir. Product at Yahoo, said that all users deserve the safest, most secure experience possible regardless of who their email provider is. The company is working with Google and other email providers to make these changes the new industry standard.

Google recently introduced client-side encryption in Gmail on mobile, though it won't be usable for many users. Gmail's Basic HTML View is going away in early 2024


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  1. VioletMoon said on October 4, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Gmail has been great for me at blocking spam–I rarely have a “spam” message in the Inbox, and if I have messages in the “Spam” box, it’s never more than two or three. When I saw Martin’s screenshot of his Gmail account the other day with 80 or more messages in his Spam box, I thought, “That user has a major problem and needs to find out why he’s getting so much spam. It’s ridiculous.”

    I use Google Fi for phone service and have the same great blocking rate for spam calls. I simply never receive them–maybe one a week, if that. The screening service works marvels; blocking a call is a takes a click, and it’s forever.

    If Google is making an improvement, that makes things even better!

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