Gmail: confidential mode

This popped up in my gmail today, that it’s possible to add certain levels of confidential handling including

  • expiration (message to be deleted after some period of time you choose)
  • password (send by SMS text) protected messages
  • and other features –

Below is what I could see in the pop-up window describing these features.  The expiration copies the “snapchat” feature that is supposed to erase your info, but you do have to trust the provider will actually and permanently remove all the information.  The link to the help info is https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7674059?hl=en

Protonmail has had time-expiration and “second password for email content” as key features.

—————from the pop up window—————–

Send & open confidential emails

You can send messages and attachments with Gmail’s confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will have options to forward, copy, print, and download disabled.

Note: Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing your email, it doesn’t prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments. This feature isn’t available for G Suite customers at this time.

Send messages & attachments confidentially

Note: If you’re using Gmail with a work or school account, contact your admin to make sure you can use confidential mode.

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode Turn on confidential mode.
    Tip: If you’ve already turned on confidential mode for an email, go to the bottom of the email, then click Edit.
  4. Set an expiration date and passcode. These settings impact 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 get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient’s phone number, not your own.
  5. Click Save.

Remove access early

You can stop your recipient from viewing the email before the expiration date.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. On the left, click Sent.
  3. Open the confidential email.
  4. Click Remove access.

Open an email sent with confidential mode

If the sender used confidential mode to send the email:

  • You can view the message and attachments until the expiration date or until the sender removes access.
  • Options to copy, paste, download, print, and forward the message text and attachments will be disabled.
  • You might need to enter a passcode to open the email.