Google has introduced a new feature to enhance email security and help users identify legitimate senders: the blue checkmark. Launched on May 3, 2023, this verification system displays a blue checkmark next to the names of select senders in Gmail, confirming that the email is from a verified brand and not an impersonator. The blue checkmark is based on the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standard, which Google started supporting in 2021.
The BIMI system allows organizations to display their official logos instead of generic avatars in Gmail, making it easier for users to recognize genuine accounts. With the addition of the blue checkmark, users can now more easily differentiate between legitimate senders and potential phishing attempts. The checkmark appears only next to organizations that have adopted the BIMI system and validated their corporate imagery with Google.
To set up BIMI, organizations must use strong authentication with DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) and logo verification through a Certification Authority such as Entrust or DigiCert, starting at $1,499 for 1-year verification. This feature is available to all Google Workspace customers, legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts.
The blue checkmark serves as a useful anti-phishing tool and helps build brand trust by increasing confidence in email sources. It also provides an immersive experience for readers, contributing to a better email ecosystem for everyone. Currently, only a handful of brands, including Apple, Amazon, and LinkedIn, display the blue checkmark in their emails. However, it is expected that more organizations will adopt the system in the future, making it even more effective in combating spam and phishing attempts.