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Gmail for Android Gets Phishing Protection

May 6, 2017

This has been a very busy week for Gmail, mostly due to there being numerous phishing scams that had affected both Gmail and Google Docs. Due to these phishing attempts, Gmail for Android just got another layer of protection. This layer of new protection is aimed at helping Gmail for Android users when a phishing attack has been suspected.

 Gmail for Android Adds Phishing Protections

Gmail for Android has decided that phishing protections are now needed within the Gmail app so that users will be alerted to anything suspicious. When it comes to phishing scams, sometimes the links and emails look very legit. That is often why people get caught in the phishing scams since the links and emails appear to come from the legit source.

Often times though, the email address or link is one letter or number off of the real person the phishing attack is trying to copy. Now, Gmail for Android will allow users to see a warning about the possible phishing before continuing onto the link or website.

Considering that phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated and more people are using mobile apps, it makes sense to add the phishing protections to Gmail for Android. When it comes to the Google Docs phishing scam from this week, it probably would not have made a difference based on the type of scam this was. If you did not hear about the Google Docs scam, be prepared to have your mind blown at the lengths of phishing attempts going on.

With the Docs scam, basically, you would be sent an email from someone you know in your contacts. From there, it would say that they wanted to share a document with you, and then you would be taken to a page that looked like a legit site operated by Google. Your Google accounts were already there and then it asked you to give the account permissions to “Google Docs.” The issue here is that it was not the real Google Docs and then you became infected with the worm once it had access to your information. Everyone in your contacts was then infected with this worm.

New Gmail for Android Protections Will Help

While it likely would not have stopped the Google Docs phishing, the new Gmail for Android phishing protections will help you in a lot of ways. For one thing, this new phishing protection in Gmail for Android uses Google Safe Browsing. This means that if you are going to a website, you will be alerted if the website is not legit and is just impersonating the real site. This is very useful for situations where you might buy something online, such as PayPal, Ebay, Amazon, or other shopping websites.

This would also be useful if you bank online because you would be alerted if you were sent a fake banking email asking you to login to change something. Even if it is not a financial situation, the new Gmail for Android will help your online passwords and usernames stay secured.

The message pops up that says where you are trying to go was shown to be a forgery. You will then be told about being tricked into giving away information and that if you go to the website, you will proceed at your own risk. You might be wondering why the new phishing protections would not have stopped the Google Docs issue. The biggest thing is that it was hosted from within Google’s own domain as an app, which poses a problem because it was very sophisticated in this manner.

Make no mistake though, Google quickly disabled the account that started the phishing attack and then removed the fake web pages so that it would stop spreading. Google did say though, if you think there is something in your email that is possibly a phishing scam, to let them know immediately. Hopefully, the new Gmail for Android phishing protections will better protect people who might not be as aware or alert of what phishing scams are. You will find the new protections in the Gmail for Android update available now on Google Play Store.