Gmail is the most widely used service when it comes to E-Mail. There would not be a lot of active users on the web who at some point of time may not have used Google’s famed mail service. However, with the internet penetration at an all-time high and with the web being used more and more as a business, it becomes absolutely mandatory for us to be secure and sure when we are browsing. Since E-Mails are one of the preferred ways of scamming, Gmail has come down hard on such practices in a bid to ensure that the security of the user is maintained.
You will start seeing a question mark instead of the usual avatar of the sender, if the message could not be authenticated. The authentication is done on a server side check and the mail must follow the laid down SPF or DKIM protocol. If a mail misses the authentication it will be accompanied by a question mark avatar, though this does not necessary mean that there is something wrong here. What it means is that the server that sent the mail was not configured properly. If all the authentication checks have been passed you will see the usual avatar, which could be initials of the sender or his image, if it has been set by the user. This feature is rolling out both on web and on Android.
If the E-Mail is from a known sender and still has a question mark accompanying it, you should by all accounts go ahead and attend to the E-Mail without worrying. The second step that Gmail is taking n order to help you stay secure is by giving you a warning if you try to visit a site that is contained in the mail and has been reported for malware or phishing. The moment you click one such link, right there you will be given the warning, a bit like how it is on the web when you click on a link that has been reported in the past. You can of course, carry on and visit the link. This feature is only going to be out on desktop and not Android for now.
These two features will be rolling out in the coming days since the rollout seems to be stage by stage.