A new anti-phishing effort, backed by the big email service providers as well as banks, PayPal, social networks, and other companies, could dramatically reduce the number of scam emails you get in your inbox. Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and AOL are backing the new plan; 15 companies in total have come together to create DMARC.org, which officially launches today and will promote standard technologies to authenticate email. The hoped-for end result? If you get an email that claims to be from paypal.com, you could trust that it is actually from paypal.com. If it works, companies would be able to communicate with customers in new ways, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Currently, companies like banks tell customers not to trust emails with messages like, "Click this link to verify your account information." This plan, however, could change all that. Phishers would still try to scam customers, but would no longer be able to send messages that appear to come from paypal.com; they would instead need to use a fake site like paypalpayments.com, explains DMARC's chair. Some of the technologies DMARC will promote are already used, but the group is looking to standardize the way email is authenticated and the way messages are treated when they have not been authenticated. (Read more Google stories.)