In the last week, many Gmail users have been scared and worried to see a new icon that has been appearing in the emails they have been receiving.
Has this happened to you? Well, good news – you don’t need to worry. It’s just Google’s new method of telling you that the mail you have just received is not as safe as it should be.
In a nutshell, emails that have not been authenticated by TLS (Transport Layer Security) encryption will be now marked with a new red lock icon. It does not mean that the mail contains a nasty virus; it just means you should be more cautious than with those that don’t have the icon. Make sure you know who the sender is.
The TLS encryption guarantees that when an author sends an email to the recipient, nobody from outside the connection has been able to open or tamper with it. You can read more about it here.
If you do receive an email with the icon, it doesn’t mean you have to delete it – you just need to be extra careful to make sure the sender and the content is familiar/relevant to you.
As always, just be cautious!