Gmail was the primary email client for 27.21% of people in February. With billions of users worldwide, you can bet Google is constantly looking for new features to help make the service more secure.
Billions of Gmail users
As one of the billions of Gmail users, I frequently have to send sensitive information to others (such as contracts). Although I’d prefer to use GPG encryption (found in applications such as Thunderbird), I don’t have that option when using Gmail.
Fortunately, Google Gmail has a feature called Confidential Mode that protects sensitive data from unauthorized access.
You can set an expiration date and a password for messages, as well as revoke access at any time with Confidential Mode. When a recipient receives a confidential message, they are not permitted to forward, copy, print, or download it.
Although it is not a direct replacement for actual encryption, it is far more user-friendly than Thunderbird’s encryption options.
The one limitation of Confidential Mode is that there is no way to prevent users from taking screenshots of confidential emails and sending them to others. So, while it isn’t perfect, it is a step in the right direction.
How to Send an Email in Private Mode
To use Confidential Mode, all you need is a Gmail account and either the web-based Gmail client or the mobile app (available for Android and iOS).
I’ll show how to use the web-based client, which works with almost any web browser, but the email client works similarly.
With that said, let’s keep things private.
1. Launch Gmail
Launch your web browser, navigate to Gmail, and sign in.
2. Write an email
To open the Gmail compose window, click Compose. Click the padlock-and-clock icon at the bottom of that window.
3. Set the Confidential Mode options
In the resulting pop-up, select one day, one week, one month, three months, or five years from the Expiration drop-down menu.
If you want to include a passcode, click SMS passcode and then Save to return to the Compose window. If you want to include a passcode, click SMS passcode and then Save to return to the Compose window.
4. Write and send an email
Compose your email as usual, and then click Send. This will bring up another pop-up asking you to enter a phone number for the recipient.
Click Send, and your email message is on its way. The recipient will receive an email containing a link to the email’s contents.
When they click the link, a new web browser page will open, prompting them to click a link in order to receive the passcode. Once they have the passcode, they enter it into the browser pop-up and press SUBMIT to view the message.
To read our blog on “How to contact Facebook to get account help for you,” click here