Google announces to display company logos in the Gmail inbox as part of its latest anti fraud update

Even after years of efforts to eliminate fraudulent schemes from the email environment, fake mails continue to occur at a frustrating rate. Back in 2020, Google revealed approval for BIMI, a protocol for certifying significant companies and putting in extra information for increased security. It was initially released for G suite users and the flaws in the system were all fixed. Now it is becoming available for every Gmail user.

BIMI stands for Brand Indicators for Message Identification. Google, MailChimp, Verizon Media, Twilio, and other messaging platforms and marketers worked together to bring out initiatives like BIMI. The operational features of BIMI includes variety of improved functions that is going to identify actual mail sender and make sure the email is secure to open. One dominating aspect of BIMI for users is that Gmail is going to display company’s logos.

This might seem overly straightforward but still the idea is for authorized senders to have their logo appear in the profile photo. Previously, there was no profile photo shown in that particular spot, only first letter of the sender’s name tends to appear. But if a sender has profile picture uploaded in the spot, it might appear when they sent a mail. This is a kind of an indication that both the sender and the mail is checked and secured.

As far as technical side is concerned, in order to deliver message the companies have to use either SPF (Sender Policy Framework) or DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) with implemented DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) so that recipients can easily identify the message sender. When a message satisfies these privacy tests the receiver contacts a validating body using the BIMI system to know when the logo will be displayed.

This update is supposed to assure users about the authentication of messages received and sender is validated. However, it is still not clear whether it is employing any measures to protect the avatar image from being abused by G suite users and Gmail accounts. Despite of BIMI, the risk of fraudulent mailers is still rising and the safety of firms who are frequently targeted is being improved.

According to Google, the update is releasing today. However, gradually it will become available to everyone. If a user received a message from an unauthorized source that haven’t fulfilled the precautionary measures then this update might be useless for those people.

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