Google Overhauls Gmail to Take On E-Mail Overload

gmail-logoNYTimes posted: On Wednesday, Google introduced a new in-box design for its e-mail service, Gmail.

In a blog post announcing the new design, the company said it wanted to help people quickly sort through their messages to determine which ones were important and which ones could wait until later.

The revamped Gmail automatically sorts incoming messages into categories, which appear as three tabs — primary, social and promotions — that users can toggle between in their in-box. The primary tab contains the e-mails that the service thinks are most important. Social contains message updates from various social networks, like LinkedIn, Tumblr and Yelp. Promotions contains newsletters, party invites and concert announcements. Users can also select to add additional tabs to help manage electronic bills, banking statements and messages from forum boards.

“We get a lot of different types of e-mail: messages from friends, social notifications, deals and offers, confirmations and receipts, and more,” wrote Itamar Gilad, a product manager at Google, in the post. “All of these e-mails can compete for our attention and make it harder to focus on the things we need to get done.”

Mr. Gilad said Google’s new in-box is “organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which e-mails you want to read when.”

The new in-box will begin rolling out for the desktop first, and eventually be available on mobile and tablet applications.

Mozilla closes critical security hole in Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey

moztrioThe H-Online: Mozilla has released Firefox 10.0.1, Firefox ESR 10.0.1, Thunderbird 10.0.1, Thunderbird ESR 10.0.1 and SeaMonkey 2.7.1 to fix a single critical security hole in the browsers and mail clients which appeared in version 10. The security advisory says that versions previous to Firefox 10, Thunderbird 10 and SeaMonkey 2.7 are unaffected by the use after free problem.

The problem was discovered by Mozilla developers and causes a “potentially exploitable” crash in nsXBLDocumentInfo::ReadPrototypeBindings. Updates are available through Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey’s automatic update system and can be made to install by bringing up the “About” dialogue for the relevant application and selecting the “Apply Upgrade” button when it appears. Firefox and Thunderbird 10 were released at the end of January.

The updates are also available for the new ESR (Extended Support Release) versions of the browser and email client, Firefox ESR and Thunderbird ESR which are currently in their “qualification” phase.

Mail.ru protects e-mail users with WOT reputation data

Web of Trust (WOT), the world’s leading website reputation rating service, and Mail.ru Group, Russia’s largest Internet company, have partnered together to improve online protection for 300 million people using Russia’s leading free e-mail service, Mail.ru. All links contained in emails received by Mail.ru users are checked through WOT’s reputation database to warn users from following untrustworthy links that could lead to scams, identity theft, malware and other online threats.

The integration of WOT reputation ratings into Mail.ru is similar to WOT’s collaboration with Facebook, published in May. WOT will give customers who receive unfamiliar links in their email information to identify dangerous messages and avoid clicking on URLs that might lead to compromised websites or malware downloads. If a user follows a risky link, an explanation of why it does not satisfy WOT’s rating criteria will appear so they can make an informed decision whether to continue, go back or learn more. Mail.ru will not block any links.

“We know that for a majority of Mail.ru users, email is the main tool for communication with friends, colleagues, clients and acquaintances. Of course, we want to make mail.ru as safe as possible. Our cooperation with WOT is the next step in creating the safest email system which warns users about untrustworthy and malicious sites,” said Anna Artamonova, Vice President for Strategic Projects at Mail.ru Group.

Targeted email attacks are on the rise
Antivirus companies report an 80 percent reduction in overall spam volumes. Instead of traditional spam, cybercriminals are focusing on higher-value actions, including increased scams and malicious attacks, spearphishing and targeted attacks.

“In recent months, targeted email attacks have increased significantly worldwide,“ said Vesa Perälä, CEO of WOT Services. “Cybercrooks gather personal information from social networks and other web sources to craft tempting emails that users will click. WOT’s real-time reputation ratings provide Mail.ru customers a safe environment from phishing, scams and other forms of email threats.

Read the press release here.