5 Simple Ways to Make Your Gmail Inbox Safer

Chances are you're one of the 1.5 billion or so people using Gmail, but many of us just dive in and out of our inboxes without taking time to explore some of its extra features and functions—some of which are designed to make us safer and protect our privacy.

Under the hood, Gmail has a number of options and features to make us safer from scammers, safer from advertisers, and safer in regard to keeping your emails private and confidential. Here are some of the best ones.

1. Block Persistent Spammers

Screenshot: David Nield via Google
If someone's clogging your inbox but Gmail's Report spam feature isn't catching it, Gmail lets you block individual senders easily. With an email open, click the three dots to the top right, then choose Block. Any future messages you get from this same sender then get automatically funneled into the Spam folder, so you don't have to see them.
Don't count out the spam-reporting feature, however, even if it doesn't look like it's working. It's not meant to stop emails from the same sender reaching you (though it might), but it does help train Gmail's spam filters using the content and characteristics of the email. Google says a certain number of flagged emails are analyzed to improve its algorithms.For more customized control, create a filter. Instead of choosing Block or Report spam from the menu, pick Filter messages like this. You're then able to set a series of actions that are always applied to incoming messages from this sender or that match the filter terms—those actions might include marking the email as read, marking it as unimportant, sending it to the Spam folder, or deleting it completely.

2. Increase the Undo Send Time

Screenshot: David Nield via Google