Google has put in place new security measures across Gmail, Chat, and Meet that will protect users from forgers, spammers, and rabble-rousers looking to disrupt their communications. Most of these changes will take effect for G Suite users first, though consumer Google accounts do have at least one takeaway as well.
The logos will appear in places where you would see a sender avatar from a friend or colleague on Gmail — on desktop, this would be in the message itself; on mobile, it appears both there and in the list view of messages.
These integrations are a product of Gmail adopting Brand Indicators for Message Identification or BIMI, a standard being worked on by Google, Microsoft's LinkedIn, Twilio, Verizon, and others. BIMI logo insertions are meant as a badge of verification to say that a message has come from the signed domain and is meant to combat scammers who send emails with forged domains. Authentication comes in the form of a two-step process called DMARC — Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance — that businesses must adopt in order to participate in BIMI.
Google is also strengthening protections for Chat and Meet users on G Suite. On Chat, certain message syntaxes can be picked up as spam and filed away, links will be scanned in real time for phishing risks, and, soon, whole chat rooms can be reported if users believe suspicious activity is happening in them.
For the video side, anyone who has been denied access to a room multiple times or ejected from one will not be able to enter it with a room admin intervening. Meet room admins are also getting Safety Locks (seen above) that limit how a user can join a room — via Calendar or Gmail invite, for example — and what a participant can do in the room. These Meet safety improvements are going out first to G Suite for Education and also to consumer Google accounts.
Of course, security is top of mind as large-scale remote work during the pandemic presents new vulnerabilities to patch, so these measures are good to have, if a bit overdue.