Google has announced that Gmail will soon display images contained in email messages by default. "You’ll soon see all images displayed in your messages automatically across desktop, iOS and Android," writes John Rae-Grant, Gmail's product manager. This is a major change over Gmail's previous approach, which required users to specifically grant permission before any images loaded. Google says this precaution is no longer necessary because Gmail will now serve images through Google’s secure proxy servers, cutting off any risks associated with outside servers. The new changes will come to Gmail on desktop first; mobile apps won't show images automatically until "early 2014."

"Your messages are more safe and secure, your images are checked for known viruses or malware, and you’ll never have to press that pesky 'display images below' link again," Rae-Grant says. If for some reason you preferred the old way, Gmail will still offer an option for per-message authorization inside settings.