December 16, 2014

Reject the Unexpected - Content Security Policy in Gmail

(Cross-posted from the Gmail Blog)

We know that the safety and reliability of your Gmail is super important to you, which is why we’re always working on security improvements like serving images through secure proxy servers, and requiring HTTPS. Today, Gmail on the desktop is becoming more secure with support for Content Security Policy (CSP). CSP helps provide a layer of defense against a common class of security vulnerabilities known as cross-site scripting (XSS).

There are many great extensions for Gmail. Unfortunately, there are also some extensions that behave badly, loading code which interferes with your Gmail session, or which compromises your email’s security. Gmail’s CSP helps protect you, by making it more difficult to load unsafe code into Gmail.

Most popular (and well-behaved) extensions have already been updated to work with the CSP standard, but if you happen to have any trouble with an extension, try installing its latest version from your browser’s web store (for example, the Chrome Web Store for Chrome users).

CSP is just another example of how Gmail can help make your email experience safer. For advice and tools that help keep you safe across the web, you can always visit the Google Security Center.

This post was updated on December 18th to add a description of the XSS defense benefit of CSP, and to more precisely define the interaction with extensions.

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