Google presents Self Destroying Emails

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Google presents Self Destroying Emails

Google Mail or Gmail has now introduced self-destructing email feature which will make sure that your mail is never stolen or read by anyone. Read the article to know more about it.

Emails have been an important means of communication these days. Many of the important and private communications are done via email. Banks, corporates, and many other organizations choose emails as their main way of communication.  However, in this age of advancing technology, there is always the risk of your data getting
misused. Imagine you log into your email to access some important information, but you forget to log out. Or you leave your phone or computer unattended somewhere for an hour or so. There are high chances that someone might get their hands on your email. Also, there is a risk of getting your email hacked and losing your personal data.

As a solution to this, Google has now introduced the feature of conversational thread disabling/enabling in its Gmail for iOS and Android. They have also brought another desktop feature for the smartphones – the Confidential mode. For the people who don’t know this, this feature was launched in the desktop versions at the beginning of 2018. The ‘Confidential Mode’ of Gmail prevents the forwarding, copying and downloading of a mail on the desktop or a
smartphone. The person who sends the mail has to set the feature.

The best thing about this type of email is that it can ‘self-destruct’ after a certain set amount of time. If the content of the mail is extremely private, the sender can even lock the access for that particular user. This will enable the sender to lock the email with an SMS code. However, Google has clearly said that even though the ‘Confidential mode’ bring along a lot of security features, it will have certain limitations. It will not be capable of preventing someone from taking a screenshot and sharing it with others. Also, this feature is not yet available for the G Suite users.

Here is a guide on how to use the features on the desktop, Android and iOS:

On Android smartphones:

Step 1: Open Gmail and ‘Compose’ a message.

Step 2: On the top right side, tap on the three-dot ‘More’ option and select ‘Confidential Mode’. Those who already have this setting activated can tap on the option to edit it.

Step 3: Set up the mode with expiry date and passcode.

Step 4: Tap on ‘Done’ and send the email.

To remove access early:

Step 1: In Gmail, click on the ‘Sent’ section placed on the left side.

Step 2: Open the Confidential email.

Step 3: Then Click on ‘Remove access’ option. This prevents the recipient to view the message before the expiration date.

On iPhones/iPads:

Step 1: Open Gmail and ‘Compose’ a message.

Step 2: On top right tap on the three-dot ‘More’ option on the right and select ‘Confidential Mode’. Those who already have this setting activated can tap on the option to edit it.

Step 3: Set up the mode with expiry date and passcode.

Step 4: Tap on ‘Done’ and send the email.

The steps to remove the early access is the same as that for the Android smartphones.

Desktop:

Step 1: Open Gmail and ‘Compose’ a message.

Step 2: At the bottom right corner of the message click on the ‘Confidential mode’ lock icon. Those who already have this setting activated, they can click on the icon to edit it.

Step 3: Set the expiration date and passcode. This will protect both the text and attachments.

Step 4: Click save and send the message.

Note: If you select ‘No SMS passcode’, the receiver will be able to open the mail directly.

However, the users who are not using Gmail will get a password on mail. When you choose the option of ‘SMS passcode’, the recipient will receive a passcode via SMS. In order to do this, the sender will have to enter the phone number of the recipient.

This might come out to be a very useful feature for people who receive a lot of confidential and private emails. However, this features still has not made our emails 100% safe as ascreenshott of the same can still be taken. If Google is able to apply the feature where even taking a screenshot is not possible, that would increase the security of our emails.

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