Google and Yahoo on Tuesday announced a series of new requirements meant to improve email phishing and spam protections for their users.

Starting with the first quarter of next year, both email service providers will require that bulk senders first authenticate their emails using industry best practices, which should improve users’ trust in the source of messages.

The new requirement is intended to prevent incidents where attackers take advantage of bulk senders’ improperly secured or configured systems.

“To help fix that, we’ve focused on a crucial aspect of email security: the validation that a sender is who they claim to be. As basic as it sounds, it’s still sometimes impossible to verify who an email is from given the web of antiquated and inconsistent systems on the internet,” Google explains.

“Sending properly authenticated messages helps us to better identify and block billions of malicious messages and declutter our users’ inboxes,” Yahoo notes.

Next year, both email service providers will also require that bulk senders provide users with the option to easily unsubscribe from commercial emails, with a single click, and that the senders honor the request within two days.

Furthermore, both Google and Yahoo will enforce a clear spam rate threshold for large senders, thus ensuring that users receive less unwanted emails in their inboxes.

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“Yahoo looks forward to working with Google and the rest of the email community to make these common sense, high-impact changes the new industry standard,” Yahoo senior director Marcel Becker said.

According to Google, while numerous senders already meet these requirements, the upcoming changes should be considered basic email hygiene by all senders. Large senders are encouraged to consult Google’s guidance before the new policies are enforced (starting February 2024).

Both Google and Yahoo encourage the email community to adhere to these practices to improve user protection and security.

“Keeping email more secure, user friendly and spam-free requires constant collaboration and vigilance from the entire email community. And we’ll keep working together to make sure your inbox stays safe,” Gmail product manager Neil Kumaran said.

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