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Insights on Phishing Protection & Prevention for Gmail

Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick a person into revealing sensitive information to the attacker or to deploy malicious software on the victim's infrastructure like ransomware. Phishing attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and often transparently mirror the site being targeted, allowing the attacker to observe everything while the victim is navigating the site, and transverse any additional security boundaries with the victim.

Google has been around for more than two decades. It offers a multitude of services across innumerable platforms ranging from eMail, advertising, AI, cloud computing, and many more across all continents.

While the company has grown exponentially, its Email service namely GMail, starting on April 1st, 2004 caused quite a ruckus in the market. Turns out Gmail wasn't making a fool of everybody. With its fast, intuitive, and easy-to-use interface, people quickly flocked to Gmail. It rapidly captured the market with over 80% of all internet users across the world and became go-to-service against another giant YAHOO Mail.

Google toute’s Gmail service to be one of the best in the world, protected by Six layers of security. However, Gmail does not guarantee human nature, which is tantamount to deception. One of the most effective methods of deceiving email users is Phishing, a term vaguely related to fishing (in a manner of sorts), that attacks to steal your personal information.

Phishing still remains one of the top security threats amongst large Populus and giant corporations, costing billions of dollars in damage every year. It only becomes apparent that every Google Admin must draw every security arrow in its quiver to protect against such attacks.

In this article, we will discover how to tighten the Gmail security against phishing emails amongst the plethora of options available.

1. Pre-delivery message scanning

This feature makes sure that every mail is scanned for any threat before it's delivered to the inbox by identifying suspicious content. The following image indicates how it works.

2. Whitelisting

It is a simple filtering technique that tightens Google Admin’s grip over phishing threats by allowing a list of senders to be accepted by users' email. The following image shows how to activate this feature. (recommended if you do not have a cloud-based spam filter in your network.)

3. Enabling or disabling Attachments and Scripts

Email attachments still remain one of the best ways to wreak havoc if not detected in time. It's a classic hook line and sinker technique famous amongst attackers. That is why Google Admins can configure different settings for different groups of people by creating organizational units to receive scripts from untrusted senders or receive encrypted attachments. The following image shows how to activate this feature. More than 90% of phishing attacks come by email, being prepared for any threat makes all the difference between an attempted and successful attack. There are many techniques and filtering options available in Google Admin Console to control and manage phishing threats, user awareness still remains one of the earliest preventive measures against phishing attacks.

Although there are many ways to prevent phishing attacks, this article is meant to provide a brief understanding of how to prevent phishing attacks over a cup of coffee. So folks, stay tuned for another episode of “Insights on Phishing Protection & Prevention for GMail!!!” as we dig deep into more security threats.

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