Gmail may ask for verification to add a forwarding address or edit filters

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Gmail may add an extra verification step when you try to do things like adding a forwarding address and editing your filters, Google announced in a blog post on Wednesday. The extra step could help prevent a bad actor who has access to your account from filtering emails in ways you don’t expect or forwarding emails to a new address without you knowing.

Here are the specific scenarios where Google may add the additional step, from Google’s post:

Filters: creating a new filter, editing an existing filter, or importing filters.

Forwarding: Adding a new forwarding address from the Forwarding and POP/IMAP settings.

IMAP access: Enabling the IMAP access status from the settings. (Workspace admins control whether this setting is visible to end users or not)

If you try and change those settings and Google deems the action “risky,” you’ll be prompted to verify that you are the person actually trying to make the change. If that challenge fails or isn’t completed, you’ll get a “critical security alert” to help let you know that something might be wrong.

The additional protection will be available to all Google Workspace customers and people with personal Google accounts, though Google notes that “this feature only supports users that use Google as their identity provider and actions taken within Google products.” Google introduced a similar verification prompt for “sensitive actions taken in your Google Workspace account” last year.

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