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This article was published on August 12, 2014


Gmail now rejects emails with potentially misleading combinations of Unicode characters

Gmail now rejects emails with potentially misleading combinations of Unicode characters
Emil Protalinski
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Emil Protalinski

Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, incl Emil was a reporter for The Next Web between 2012 and 2014. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, TechSpot, ZDNet, and CNET. Stay in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Google today announced it is implementing a new effort to thwart spammers and scammers: the open standard known as Unicode Consortium’s “Highly Restricted” specification. In short, Gmail now rejects emails from domains that use what the Unicode community has identified as potentially misleading combinations of letters.

The company offers two telling examples of the practice this is meant to stop, although ironically the first doesn’t display properly on Google’s blog nor on ours (the second example is “MyBank” versus “MyBɑnk”). Thankfully, the provided image sums up the issue very well:

confusables 3

The news today follows Google’s announcement last week that Gmail has gained support for accented and non-Latin characters. The company is clearly okay with international domains, as long as they aren’t abused to trick its users.

See alsoGoogle now lets you download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data and Google brings mouse and trackpad handwriting support to Gmail in over 50 languages and Docs in over 20 languages

Image Credit: Johannes Eisele/Getty Images