For those who have always wondered why some e-mails arrive in Gmail’s spam folder, Google has updated the service to explain to what determines that spam is spam.
Ela Czajka, a software engineer with the Gmail team, blogged about the new feature and its various levels of detection. Starting now, when you click on a message in Gmail's spam folder, an explanatory note appears at the top, warning of suspicious hyperlinks, reminding you that you have previously marked a sender as a spammer, or denoting that a particular e-mail has been deemed shady by the filter itself.
Czajka also included a link to Gmail's recently updated Hub of Spam, where all things spam are explained -- such as what phishing scams are, how Gmail uses content filters and the behavior of other Gmail users to label spam, and more. Gmail's labeling practices are pretty interesting, and are a perfect match with the Gmail setting "Authentication icon for verified senders," which can be enabled in Gmail Labs and adds a little key next to a verified sender's name, guaranteeing the e-mail is coming from a legit source.
If you're like me and simply hit "delete forever" on every spam message, or just ignore the folder altogether, this tiny improvement may not mean much, but it's good to know that should you suddenly become gullible and your PC is feverish with malware, Gmail has got your back.