How to use Gmail confidential mode to add an extra layer of security

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Google Mail, popularly known as Gmail, is undoubtedly the most popular email service that we all use, for its seamless integration with other Google services, and other third-party services like Dropbox and others. The wide availability of Android smartphones is yet another reason why Gmail is the most popular email service out there. Last year, Google brought significant improvements in Gmail and even added some new feathers to its cap by introducing some new features. One of them is the Gmail confidential mode, where you can add an extra layer of security to email messages, which can be useful for many users.

Gmail confidential mode tutorial

Turn on Gmail confidential to send email messages

By sending confidential messages, you can add an expiry date to the email messages, which means, they will self-destruct after a chosen time, ranging from 1 day to 5 years, and several durations in the middle. Besides that, confidential messages can also be protected with a passcode that ensures, nobody will be able to open the email message other than the one who is supposed to open it, in most cases. A message sent using the confidential message can’t be forwarded, and it is a cherry on the pie. Additionally, you can revoke access to the content of a confidential email even before the expiration, and renew access anytime, which makes the system flexible at the same time. So let’s find out how you can pre-enabled confidential mode to send an email message on Gmail.

Compose mail using the Confidential mode

Click or tap on the option to compose a regular email on Gmail using the ‘Compose’ or ‘+‘ button. Now open the triple-dot menu and click on ‘Confidential mode‘.

Compose mail using the Confidential mode

Set the expiry date of the email

Now, you can set the expiry date of the email from the drop-down menu, and you can even make the email message more secure by adding the option to use a Standard or SMS passcode to see the content of the message.

Set the expiry date of the email

Email passcode and SMS passcode

With the standard passcode, the respective recipient will get an email passcode, and the SMS passcode is self-explanatory. If you know the mobile number of the recipient, that is the more secure option, I would say.

In that case, you will have to enter the mobile number, where the SMS passcode will be sent.

Write Email and Add Attachment, if any

Now write the content of the email, and add any attachments necessary. You will get the following message below the writing area.

Write Email and Add Attachment, if any

Need a Passcode to read them mails in Gmail confidential mode

Once the email is sent to the correct persons, they can now read the message, or they will be asked to enter the passcode to read the content of the message.

passcode to read them mails

Opening Confidential Gmail messages

As Google doesn’t have control over how email service will handle confidential email messages, email messages will not be displayed as a link that will open in a separate webpage, where the recipient can only view the email.

Opening Confidential Gmail messages

Even if the recipient forwards the link, that will be of no use.

Revoke access to an email

To revoke access to an email, simply open the email sent by you in the ‘Sent’ menu, and click on the button that says ‘Remove access

Revoke access to an email

Grant access again

To grant access again, simply click on ‘Renew access‘.

Grant access again

The confidential mode on Gmail is undoubtedly a neat improvement over traditional email, however, it isn’t an alternative to some other more secure mode of communication. The confidential mode on Gmail just ensures nobody can access the email message after a chosen duration, or the recipient needs a passcode to see the content of the email. The confidential mode doesn’t ensure the right person is accessing the email message if somebody else has access to the SMS messages of the actual recipient of the message.

But the confidential mode on Gmail can still be handy in a number of everyday situations in the first place. Do you have any questions about the confidential mode on Gmail? Feel free to comment on the same below.

Other Articles to Read:

Sarbasish Basu
From B.Tech (Hons.) Electronics & Instrumentation Engineer to Photography and Writing blogs; he ultimately has answers to everything. Oh, and he's also quite good in rapidly building a relationship and set up the trust; his articles are proof of that...


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