Google is currently working on improving its email system to boost privacy due to which the company has come up with several new features to accomplish this goal. The brand new “Confidential mode” will protect your emails as they will “self-destruct” after a certain amount of time.
Maintaining privacy when it comes to emails is very important because sensitive information or important data is bound to get shared via email at some point and if someone intercepts them then it can be a problem. Even if the email doesn’t get intercepted, it stays in one’s inbox, so it can be accessed at any time, which is also bad unless the user deletes it right away. In order to tackle this problem, Google’s Confidential mode takes a lot of steps to increase privacy for emails.
For now, the new mode is available only on the PC version of Gmail. You can protect emails that contain sensitive information by setting a passcode for them, an expiry date as well as not giving an option to forward. When the expiry timer hits, the email gets automatically deleted on the receivers end. The receiver will also not be able to download, print, or copy and paste anything from the email. Therefore, the new mode weeds out most of the ways through which people could steal info, it’s a step in the right direction for Google.
How to send a Confidential email?
In order to send an email using the confidential mode, you need to first access the mode separately. By default, users are shown the “classic view” when they visit Gmail from phone or PC. In order to access the new mode, go to the Settings tab (the gear-like circle) and click on “Try new Gmail”, that will open up the new Gmail interface for you. If you want to switch over to classic view again, just go back using the settings button again.
Once you’re in, just follow these steps:
- Click on Compose and on the bottom right of the window, click on “Turn on confidential mode”, the icon for it should be beside the ‘send’ and ‘attachment’ icons.
- Now that you’ve made the email confidential, you will need to set a passcode and expiration date for the email. If your recipient doesn’t look at emails immediately, try to set a flexible expiry date. Note that they cannot download any files you send either, so it’s best to shift to regular emails for sending attachments.
- Now just hit send
You can also opt to not set any passcode at all which would mean that the recipient will be able to view the email directly, but the expiry date and all the other privacy measures still hold. When the email ‘expires’, the sender’s information and timestamp are still there, so you can report and block the user in case of abuse of the feature.
Overall, it’s a pretty good feature that Google can build on to maximize email privacy. Perhaps down the line, there will be a way to send attachments as well through confidential mode.