New Warning Messages in Brown Gmail

On Thursday, April 4th, we're making a change to Brown email to better protect you against spoofed emails (fraudulent emails that pretend to be from someone you know at Brown).

If Google suspects that a message is attempting to spoof a Brown address, you’ll see a warning at the top of the email.

Banner for a suspicious email in Gmail

Some reasons this warning may appear are:

  • The email domain looks similar to brown.edu (for example, brown.du).
  • The sender has the same name as someone in our Brown directory but is not sent from a brown.edu address. This may happen if someone sends you email from a personal address with the same name as their Brown account, if the sender has a brown.edu address but has opted out of the Brown directory, or if the sender set up a personal Gmail account to “send from” their Brown address.
  • The email is not authenticated. This may be the case with some emails sent by systems at Brown, including systems that send notifications, services with email features that allow the sender to specify their email address, and devices like scanners.

When you receive an email with this warning, check the sender’s address to make sure it is legitimate; you may want to reference the Brown directory. Be especially suspicious if the email is asking you to click on a link, send a gift card, or some other activity that could put you at risk. 

Once you determine whether the email is legitimate, use the buttons in the warning banner to mark the email as Phishing or Safe. This will help Google categorize similar emails in the future.
 

Written by sobodda@brown.edu on