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Sending Secret Messages .. How to use Temporary Emails (confidential mode) on Gmail?

Sending secret messages with a specific timing is already a feature in Gmail. It turns out that Google introduced the confidential mode to Gmail in 2018. This feature allows messages sent by individuals to have an expiration date. This measure prevents recipients from copying, forwarding to other Gmail users, or downloading the content.
How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

How does confidential mode work in Gmail?

Gmail's confidential mode is a valuable feature designed to safeguard sensitive information, preventing it from being unintentionally shared or accessed without your permission. With this feature, you can establish an expiration date for your messages or retract access at your discretion.

When using confidential mode to send a message, the recipient receives a link to the message instead of the message content itself. This link has a predefined expiration time, or you can revoke access at any moment. Furthermore, recipients are unable to forward, copy, print, download, or take screenshots of the message.


Confidential mode employs various protective measures for your messages:

  1. Encryption: Messages sent in confidential mode are encrypted using TLS, a standard encryption protocol for securing data during transit. This means that even if intercepted, the message remains unreadable without the encryption key.
  2. Expiration: Messages in confidential mode can be configured to self-destruct after a specific time, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  3. Revocation: You have the ability to retract access to messages sent confidentially at any point, rendering them inaccessible even if the recipient had previously opened them.

It's crucial to understand that confidential mode isn't foolproof. For instance, the recipient can still capture screenshots of the message before it expires or share the message link with others. Nevertheless, confidential mode serves as a valuable layer of protection against unauthorized message access.


How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

To utilize Gmail's confidential mode on either the desktop or mobile app, follow these steps: 
1. Begin by composing a new message.
2.After composing the message, locate the padlock icon adjacent to the "Send" button.
3. Tap on the padlock icon to activate the confidential mode.
Once done, a popup will appear allowing you to set parameters for how long you want recipients in Gmail to have access to your message before it expires; It can be up to five years one day.
How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail
For passcode requirements, you can use SMS passcode to further enhance the security of your confidential emails  , Google will ask for a passcode each time you open the locked email by sending it to the recipient's phone number. This means that you will now need to have the recipient's phone number to exchange private data.
How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

Once you have completed all the security steps, click on Save, write your email and hit send. If you enable the passcode, Gmail will ask you to enter the recipient's phone number so that they can send the 4-digit passcode.

How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

The primary advantage of employing confidential mode is the enhanced security it offers, preventing recipients from "redirecting, copying, pasting, downloading, or printing content." These restrictions add an extra layer of enjoyment, safeguarding your private information from ending up in the wrong hands, which is a common occurrence in accidental data leaks. The confidential email you receive will have the following appearance:

How to Use Confidential Mode in Gmail

How to Use Confidential Mode  on Gmail Smartphone

To find the secret mode in the Gmail mobile app, tap on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the app . The steps in the Gmail mobile app are basically the same as in the browser on a computer, but some items are in different places. For example, the secret mode is located in the three vertical dots menu in the mobile app, while it is located in the side panel in the browser.
How to Use Confidential Mode  on Gmail Smartphone

Here are some recommendations for making the most of confidential mode:

  • Limit the use of confidential mode to messages containing sensitive information.
  • Set an appropriate expiration date based on the message's sensitivity.
  • Revoke access to messages when they no longer require confidentiality.
  • Keep in mind that confidential mode doesn't prevent forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading if the recipient takes a screenshot.
In summary, Gmail's confidential mode is a valuable tool for shielding sensitive information in your messages. However, it's essential to recognize its limitations and use it in conjunction with other security practices.
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