Gmail uses the https ( secure ) connection only for while authenticating the username and password. This way, the email messages are not secure and can be read by a hacker by using a freely available packet sniffing program.
Google is now rolling out this new option to make Gmail always use secure connection. The only drawback is it might slow down the mail, but with the new faster Internet connections, it shouldn’t be an issue. This new option should come up in Setting menu.
If you still don’t have this issue and want to always use secure connection, use https explicitly while accessing the Gmail. This also is same for Google apps accounts. Now, you can login to Gmail with piece of mind in coffee shops, airports and other public areas. [ via ]