Gmail is definitely one of the best email providers out there and they have always been innovating and adding new features. We have written several Gmail Tips and Gmail Labs features in the past, however, a new feature is being rolled out to users where they are being warned about filters that forward emails to other email addresses.
Gmail has always been keen on increasing the security of their service after what happened in China. They have been adding features which displays the locations you logged into Gmail from and also alerts you about suspicious logins. Additionally, Google has also added features like forced SSL and two step validation process.
The new alerts about forwarding filters is really useful and will allow users to see if anyone is forwarding emails to other accounts. In fact, I was very keen on having this feature for Gmail and had even spoken to few developers on creating an extension for Gmail, however, Google beat me at it.
The new message will be displayed on the top of the page as seen in the screenshot above and will allow users to review settings and change them if required. Currently, the "Review Settings" link takes you to the Filters page, however, I would have loved to have Gmail only display those filters which are forwarding emails to other accounts when I click on it.
A Google help page is also setup to tell users about this new feature, it states;
Why do I have a forwarding filter notice?
You’re seeing a notice to help you confirm that the forwarding filter setting that’s active on your account is accurate. If your account has this feature enabled, you should see this notice.
Forwarding filters are a pretty powerful feature that enables you to send a specific portion of your incoming email to another email account. This mechanism is helpful especially when you have more than one email account. Even so, it’s a good idea to make sure all the details are consistent with what you intend and expect. We encourage you to review your settings and verify that they are accurate.
How long will I see this notice?
For about a week, this notice will appear for a few minutes each time you sign in to your account. Displaying the notification in this way helps ensure that you have a chance to see the notice, rather than someone who might try to gain unauthorized access to your account and use this setting improperly. The notice will disappear immediately if you choose to disable the forwarding filter setting, but that decision is up to you.
How do I remove unwanted forwarding filters?
If the content of the notice looks unneeded or unfamiliar, please do the following:
- If you see unfamiliar account access, please change your password immediately. This may indicate that someone has unauthorized access to your account. It’s a good idea to pick a strong password for your Gmail account and never use it again on other websites.
- Sign back in to your Gmail account and click the gear icon in the top right corner of Gmail and choose Mail settings.
- Click the Filters tab.
- Search for the terms "Forward to" and delete any filters with unfamiliar email addresses. Note, there may be more than one filter.
- Click the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab.
- In the "Forwarding" section, click the first drop-down menu and remove any unfamiliar email addresses.
- Select the Disable forwarding radio button if you want to disable non-filter based forwarding.
Kudos to Gmail on adding this feature, I have always wanted it and would have created it myself. It will definitely help people to keep a quick eye on Forwarding filters and remove them if necessary.