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Confidential Mode: Gmail’s little-known feature to send sensitive emails securely

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It’s been years we are using Gmail. It can be accessed from any computer and smartphone. So, it’s a user-friendly platform to send and receive emails.

Many a times we share sensitive and confidential data via Gmail. What if you accidentally share the sensitive email to wrong person? You need not worry anymore! Gmail has a little-known feature that can help you send sensitive information over Gmail. The feature is known as confidential mode and it has to be enabled manually.

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Also Read: Gmail Security: 10 tips to keep your account safe

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Confidential mode lets you:

  • Set a message expiration date
  • Revoke message access at any time
  • Require a verification code by text to open messages

Recipients of the confidential message will not have options to forward, copy, print and download. Recipients can view the message and attachments until the expiration date or until the sender removes access.

How to enable?

Below are the steps to enable Gmail confidential mode on Computer, Android Phone, & iPhone:

  • Go to Gmail.
  • Click Compose.
  • In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode.
  • Set an expiry date and passcode. These settings affect both the message text and any attachments.
    • If you choose ‘No SMS passcode’, recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don’t use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.
    • If you choose ‘SMS passcode’, recipients will receive a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient’s phone number, not your own.
  • Click Save.

Android:

  • Open the Gmail app .
  • Tap Compose.
  • In the top right, tap on Three dots   Confidential mode.
  • Turn on Confidential mode.
  • Set an expiry date, passcode and other controls. These settings affect both the message text and any attachments.
    • If you choose ‘No SMS passcode’, recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don’t use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.
    • If you choose ‘SMS passcode’, recipients will receive a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient’s phone number, not your own.
  • Tap Done .

iPhone:

  • Open the Gmail app .
  • Tap  Compose.
  • Turn on Confidential mode.
  • Set an expiry date, passcode and other controls. These settings affect both the message text and any attachments.
    • If you choose ‘No SMS passcode’, recipients using the Gmail app will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don’t use Gmail will get emailed a passcode.
    • If you choose ‘SMS passcode’, recipients will receive a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient’s phone number, not your own.
  • Tap Done .

The confidential mode also lets you remove access early i.e. you can stop your recipient viewing the email before the expiry date.

  • Open Gmail.
  • On the left, click Sent.
  • Open the confidential email.
  • Click Remove access.

Note: Confidential mode helps prevent recipients from accidentally sharing messages. However, it can’t prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. So, make sure you’re sending the right information to the right people. Think before you hit ‘send. We hope you find this information useful!

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