Google makes use of TLS (what is named customary encryption) to maintain your emails comparatively protected in transit. (The service does even have the safer S/MIME encryption, nevertheless it’s solely obtainable for enterprise and academic establishments.) There are, nonetheless, different methods you possibly can maintain your private knowledge a bit safer, and one is by utilizing Google’s confidential mode.

Google launched its confidential mode for Gmail in 2018. The setting permits folks to ship messages that may expire and prevents recipients from copying their contents, forwarding them to others, or downloading them.

You need to use confidential mode on a desktop or via the Gmail app on cellular, although whichever you employ, you’ll have to activate confidential mode every time you ship a message. Right here’s the best way to do it.

In your browser

The locked clock icon

Search for the icon of a locked clock to the best of the Ship button.

  • Compose a brand new message.
  • Search for the icon of a locked clock to the best of the Ship button (it might be onerous to seek out amongst all the opposite icons, however maintain trying) and faucet it.
  • A pop-up will seem that lets you set the parameters for a way lengthy you’d like recipients to have entry to your message earlier than it expires — beginning at in the future and going as much as 5 years.

confidential mode window

You may set the parameters for when the message will disappear and if it wants a passcode.

  • Under the expiration date, you’ll see a Require Passcode class. If the individual you’re emailing has Gmail, and also you’d like an additional layer of safety, choose SMS passcode to additionally require them to enter a passcode that will likely be texted to their telephone quantity. In case your recipient doesn’t have Gmail, even when you choose No SMS passcode, they are going to be despatched a passcode by way of e mail.
  • A notification that the message is being despatched in confidential mode will seem throughout the underside of the message.

On cellular

Three mobile screenshots showing confidential message.

The steps for a cellular e mail are largely the identical as that for an online e mail.

These steps are largely the identical, however a number of the gadgets are positioned elsewhere than you’ll discover in your browser. The method is identical for each iOS and Android variations of Gmail.

  • Compose a message.
  • Faucet the three vertical dots within the higher proper nook of the app, then faucet Confidential mode.
  • As with a browser, you’ll have the choice to set how lengthy the message must be viewable by recipients and whether or not it’s protected by a passcode.
  • When you’ve adjusted the settings, a message despatched in confidential mode will show a small window throughout the underside that particulars how lengthy the message will exist earlier than expiring.

Replace August 18th, 2022, 2:57PM ET: This text was initially printed on Might thirty first, 2019, and has been up to date to account for adjustments within the app.

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