Sending emails hasn’t changed much in the last decade or so. Yes, the user interface has gotten better and we have more features but the basic stuff remains the same. Despite all the newness security is still one of the main concerns we have while using email. Gmail has decided to tackle this issue with the help of Gmail Confidential mode.

What is Gmail Confidential mode?

You might be wondering what is Gmail Confidential mode? No, it’s not an encryption service by Gmail. The confidential mode works by deleting the email after a specific time period, much like the burner phones most of us have used in the past.

The Gmail Confidential mode helps by disallowing recipients to forward the email or even from downloading and copying the content. Next time you send out that super secret pitch to your boss, make sure to use confidential mode! It is worth mentioning that the confidential mode works across all platforms including Yahoo, iCloud and Outlook. Lastly, you can also make it compulsory for the recipients to enter a code before they open the email.


How to enable Confidential mode on Gmail Web (Windows, Mac, and Chromebook)?

Confidential mode lets you send self-destructive messages that cannot be forwarded or downloaded. In order to enable this feature on Gmail Web, please follow the steps detailed below:

  1. Open Gmail on your web browser and log in
  2. Select Compose to write a new email
  3. In the bottom right corner, there is a small lock icon
  4. Clicking on the icon opens Confidential Mode
  5. Now you can Set Expiration (Validity of the email)
  6. You can also enable passcode (will be sent via SMS)
  7. Select Save
  8. Continue composing the email and send once done

How to use Confidential mode on the Gmail mobile app?

Thankfully the Confidential mode is offered on Gmail mobile app as well. Enabling the feature is slightly different on the mobile app. Please note that the feature is available for both iOS and Android apps.

  1. Open the Gmail app and log in
  2. Select Compose
  3. Select More from the top right corner of the menu (icon with three dots)
  4. Select Confidential mode
  5. Similar to the web version you can Set Expiration and Enable passcode
  6. In order to apply the settings click on the tick icon located on the top right corner

How to open Confidential Email on Gmail?

Confidential Email is pretty similar to the traditional email. In some cases, you are required to enter the password sent to your phone via SMS. Non-Gmail users will receive a link and a code to open the confidential email.

While we agree that confidential mode is a great way to send destructible emails, it is not foolproof. For instance, the recipients can take a screenshot or record their screens while opening the documents. It is for this reason that we would still caution you over sending sensitive data over email.

How to secure your Gmail account?

It is very important to secure your Gmail account from attackers and hackers. By doing this you will be adding an additional layer of security to all the Gmail related communications. Please follow the steps below to secure Gmail,

  1. Complete the Gmail Security Checklist
  2. Use Password Manager and/or set a complex password
  3. Enable Google’s two-factor authentication
  4. Be aware of phishing attacks and email scams

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