Google is cracking down on mass email senders starting in April

Google warns that from April, those who send unwanted mass emails to Gmail will see their messages rejected more often unless they adhere to the new Gmail sender guidelines.

Below are the updates for 02/14. This article was originally published in February 2011.

New Rules For Sending Mass Email To Gmail Accounts

New Rules are Coming to Place To Protect Gmail Users from Unwanted Mass Emails. It was reported at the time that some mass marketers were receiving error messages in relation to certain messages sent to Gmail. A Google spokesperson told me, however, that these specific errors, 550-5.7.56, were not new, but “a result of pre-existing requirements for authentication.”

Google has confirmed that it will reject a percentage of email traffic that is not compliant with the new guidelines for email sender authentication starting in April. For example, if only 75% of traffic meets these new guidelines, “a percentage” will be taken from the remaining 25%. This percentage is not yet known. Google has said that the new rules will be enforced “gradually and gradually.”

This gradual approach has already begun, with temporary errors on “a small percentage of their noncompliant email traffic,” coming into play in this month. Google says that bulk emailers have until June 1, 2015 to “implement a one-click unsubscribe for all commercial and promotional messages.”

Only emails sent to personal Gmail accounts will be rejected

These changes only affect bulk emails sent to Gmail personal accounts. Mass emailers who send at least 5,000 emails a day will need to authenticate their email and “avoid sending unsolicited or unwanted email.” This limit applies to all emails sent by the same primary domain regardless of the number of subdomains. The limit must be reached only once before the domain is considered a permanent bulk email sender.

These guidelines do NOT apply to messages sent from Google Workspace accounts. However, all senders must comply with the new requirements, including those who use Google Workspace.

Gmail users will enjoy improved security and more control.

Google’s spokesperson told me the requirements were implemented to “boost the sender-side” security and to increase users’ control over what they get into their inbox. For the recipient, this should mean they can trust that the sender is the person or organization they received the email from, reducing phishing risks for them, as malicious actors often exploit authentication loopholes. The spokesperson concluded that “meeting the requirements should help senders reach their intended recipients more effectively with a reduced risk of spoofing or hijacking by bad actors.”

WhatsApp also Steps Up to the Mass Mail Menace Protective Plate

Update February 13: It’s great that Gmail, with its 1.8 billion accounts and increasing protection against spammers, malicious actors, and unauthenticated mass-email-sending methods is improving their anti-spam message. But it’s not only Gmail that is stepping up. WhatsApp users can now block spam messages more easily.

WhatsApp, just like Gmail, has a lot of protection built in against spammers. However, anything that can make dealing with this potentially dangerous and always annoying threat easier is welcome. WhatsApp’s latest move allows users to block spam directly from the lockscreen without having to unlock their phone first.

No need to open a message before blocking it

It’s so simple that I’m surprised the Meta user interface designers hadn’t thought of it sooner. All it takes is a long-press on the notification pop-up to open the option to report the sender and/or block the message. This is not only long overdue, but it’s also a lot faster than wading through WhatsApp settings submenus in order to block and report contacts who send unsolicited and unwelcome messages. Another benefit is that you don’t have to open the message, which can be a privacy or security risk in some cases.

The U.K. will soon be able to stop receiving fraudulent mobile calls thanks to Adaptive AI.

Update February 14th: Virgin Media O2, the joint venture broadband, TV, and mobile phone network between Liberty Global, Telefonica and other companies in the U.K., has announced a new partnership. This time, it’s with Hiya. An anti-spam service that aims to eliminate fraudulent calls. The new service will enhance existing fraud protection systems with Hiya’s Adaptive AI Caller Identification and spam-blocking features. According to the most recent Hiya research statistics about 28% of U.K. callers from unknown numbers are spam, with just under 10% being fraud.

Virgin Media O2 has announced that the new service is available to all Virgin Media O2 customers for free in the coming months. Adaptive AI analyzes the behavior of incoming numbers and flags them accordingly. This flagging can either be a direct blocking as a fraud call and kill the call stone dead before the phone rings, or give more information to the customer so they can decide whether or not to answer.

Virgin Media O2 Implements the Hiya Connect to Add Detailed Information to Calls

Virgin Media O2 has also implemented the Hiya Connect Service, which allows organizations to provide identifying data to a call. Customers can see not only the name of the caller, but also their reason for calling. Hiya Connect allows organizations to add more information to their calls than just a name and logo, such as the location and the reason of the call.

“From AI to help us identify fraudulent calls to services that can help identify callers even before a customer picks up the phone,” Murray Mackenzie says, “our extensive partner with Hiya” will see us improve our existing measures to give customers additional protection against spam and fraudsters.

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