Bearly a week out of Beta and Gmail is already announcing new Lab features that enhance their current anti-phishing protection for users. After enabling this feature eBay and PayPal email messages (more financial services will likely follow) will display an icon of trust showing these messages are truly from the proper financial institutions. This is a visual tool that will make it that much easier for people to trust email messages being received from their financial institutions. Shown below are samples of what you can expect once you enable this Lab feature:

Notice the keys next to the display name showing these messages are being classified as “Super-trustworthy” in the Gmail interface. However do not confuse these key icons with the Yahoo Domain Key signed message icon as they do not necessarily mean the same thing (although the Gmail authentication tool checks for DKIM signatures as part of it’s trust criteria).

Kudos’s to the Gmail Security and abuse team for continuing to build these tools designed to help protect their users, however I would like to suggest this become an “enabled by default” feature for all users.

To enable the “Authentication icon for verified senders” feature login to your Gmail or Google Apps account and click on the “Settings” tab (top right) and then Labs from the options – some people may have a a little green beaker they can click on which is a labs shortcut. Once your there scroll down tht page until you see the “Authentication icon for verified senders” and select enable – then click “Save Changes” button and your set.

While we are talking Labs… What’s your favorite Lab feature offered currently by Gmail? I’d have to say Quick Links is my current front runner for most useful lad extension.

Photo credit: Gmail Blog