Security

How to send self-expiring emails via Gmail

Gmail’s new update design includes exciting features that have previously been available on corporate emails like ProtonMail and Signal. However, it is necessary to know that Google’s revamp on Gmail has helped to improve privacy and also offers the sender a greater control over the email that has been sent. Furthermore, one of the most essential features that Google has added to Gmail is the ‘Confidential Mode’.

Confidential mode lets you send self-destructing emails

The ‘confidential mode’ aims to boost privacy, but it has received lots of critics from most experts around the world today, I would explain in the later part of this article. But firstly, I would love to expatiate on the tasks that you can perform using the ‘confidential mode’ – that is – how to use it to send ‘self-destructing’ emails. This implies that you can be able to send emails with an expiring date.

All you need to know about the Confidential Mode

Gmail’s new interface is readily an exciting one and user-friendly. However, it is necessary to also note that this new interface on Gmail is only available on a PC browser and not on other platforms like Android and IOS application.

The ‘confidential mode’ helps you protect private messages by setting a passcode. The ‘confidential mode’ does not permit forwarding of the emails, but it allows the sender or the owner of the email to set an expiring date after which it automatically gets deleted.

Moreover, the receiver of a ‘confidential email’ does not have the option of downloading, copying/pasting, forwarding, or printing a physical copy of the email. But recipients have the ability to take screenshots of the email contents.

Normally, Gmail users are logged in to the “classic Gmail View.”  So, to use the ‘confidential mode’ with other new exciting features available presently, all you need to do is to click on the ‘Settings’ icon. You will find this icon right below your display picture on Gmail.

Then you need to click on “Try New Gmail”.

Clicking on “Try New Gmail” will reload the interface, but it might take some time to bring up the new interface. If you are not comfortable using the new interface, you can go back to the classic interface using the same procedure.

How to send an email using the Confidential Mode

Right after you opt for the new Gmail interface on your PC browser, you should take the following steps:

  1. Click on ‘compose‘.
  2. Click on ‘Turn on confidential mode’ (which is at the bottom right of the window beside ‘send’ and ‘attachment’). Afterward, go to the bottom of the email and tap on Edit. Now you can make any edits on the email that you are about to send.
  3. Setup an expiring date and a passcode for the email that you want to send. By doing this, the email will no longer be available after when the expiring date is due. You need to know that recipients may not be able to screenshot or download the email to their PC.
  4. Setup a passcode. If you select “No SMS passcode”, then the recipients can view the message directly on their Gmail account. On the other hand, the non-Gmail recipients will receive a link via email through which they can view the message. Whereas, if you choose the “SMS Passcode” option, then the recipients will get a passcode via a text message. To use this feature, you have to input the recipient’s phone number and click on ‘Save’.

Preventing Misuse and Abuse by ‘Confidential Mode’

The ‘confidential mode’ feature enabled by Google initially received a lot of criticism from the experts. People feared misuse of this feature by stalkers or hackers as they could fearlessly send distressing messages that will delete automatically. This implies that these lurkers can feel unthreatened since the emails sent will be removed themselves leaving no trace behind.

Luckily, the subject and sender details do not delete automatically in ‘confidential mode‘. You will have these traces unless you deliberately delete them after the contents of an email expire.

Presently, if you need to get some vital evidence against a lurker, you just have to save the sender’s details and the email content as screenshots.

Additionally, you also have the option of blocking a sender on Gmail. You can also report a user to Google to take any disciplinary action against the sender.

On the whole, the use of ‘confidential mode’ feature on Gmail enables privacy. It seems to work well when you want an email disclosed. It also prevents the recipient from viewing the content after the stated time. Cool work, Google!

Abeerah Hashim
the authorAbeerah Hashim
Staff Writer
Abeerah is a passionate blogger/web writer for several years with particular interest towards science and technology. She is crazy to know everything about the latest tech developments. Knowing and writing about hacking, spying, and gaming has always enchanted her. When she is not writing, what else can be a better pastime for her than web surfing and staying updated about the tech world!

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