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How to Send a Confidential Email in Gmail

You are looking for a secure way to email in Gmail? "Confidential mode" is developed by Google to ensure your message can only be viewed by your intended recipient.


What Is Gmail’s Confidential Mode?

When using the confidential mode, the intended receiver must enter a code in order to read the mail while sending a message to Gmail.

After the message is sent, the recipient will receive an email saying that they are expected to receive a confidential message. In order to read it, you need to check your identity by using a code sent by e-mail or by SMS (to a number of you who have chosen) before you can read it.

The email would not contain all of the contents of the message. The message is only available on the servers of Google instead. Messages submitted in a confidential mode often expire in addition to the verification process. A week, month, three months, or 5 years expiration date may be selected.


How to Send Confidential Emails in Gmail

To start composing the new message in the confidential mode, sign in and press the Compose button in the top-left corner. In the compose window, press 'Confidential Mode' Add a recipient, a subject line, and a body for your message (It looks like a padlock with a clock on it.).

How to Send a Confidential Email in Gmail?

Set the expiry time in the window that shows to decide if a passcode is required by SMS or not. If you choose "No SMS Passcode" the code will be sent to the same email address as the field "To."

How to Send a Confidential Email in Gmail?

Click "Save" and before you press Send check your message. You will have to enter the Mobile Number of the recipient before your message is sent if you have opted for the SMS Passcode Verification. Don't enter the incorrect number!

How to Send a Confidential Email in Gmail?

Remove Access to a Message You have Sent

You can remove access to a message that you already sent if you like. When you email the message via confidential mode, it will be displayed in your box (You can also find it under Sent.).

Click on the message and then "Remove the access" to "Unsend" a confidential email. If the user has not read the email yet, so once access has been removed, they cannot have access to it.


The Drawbacks to Gmail’s Approach

Confidential mode is a lot less secure if you do not need an SMS passcode verification. For example, if you already have compromised your e-mail address, for instance, the verifying code is virtually useless if the owner has signed in to a public computer.

Instead, it's close to the way two-factor authentication works to have a different mobile number that needs SMS verification. And if the email address has been affected, the sender cannot read the message without access to the mobile number.

Unfortunately, the approach of Gmail is far from being truly stable email providers such as ProtonMail and Tutanota. Gmail would not encrypt the content in your inbox on the server as most e-mail providers. The message will be viewed technically by Google's employees—or who accesses your Google account.


Get Better Privacy with a Secure Email Provider

And with just one message, a secure email provider is a better option than Gmail or other webmail services like Outlook if privacy matter to you.
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