TECH BREAK: Gmail now has self-destructing emails

Wednesday March 18 2020

Google's latest feature allows you to enable confidential mode for an email on Android. PHOTO | FILE | LOIC VENANCE | AFP


Google has delivered its latest email feature by adding a confidential mode for Gmail.

As the name suggests, the new feature allows you to send and receive “confidential” emails.

According to Google’s support website, confidential emails have a sender-defined expiration date (from one day to five years), but access to the email can also be revoked at any time. Additionally, recipients can’t forward, copy, print or download these emails.
Similar to what Telegram introduced years ago, Gmail users can now set a self-destruct timer for a defined period on all outgoing emails.

The emails will be received like normal emails for all Gmail users, but those using other services such as Yahoo, the email will be opened in a secure web portal.

The sender of a confidential email can also require recipients to enter a passcode (sent via SMS or email) to open the message. SMS-based passcodes are the only option if your recipient is using a Gmail account, recipients using another email service can receive either SMS or email passcodes.

Unfortunately, SMS-based passcodes are only supported in Europe, India, Japan, North America, and South America.

Unlike Telegram with its screenshot alerts however, Gmail still allows recipients to take screenshots of confidential emails.

To enable confidential mode for an email on Android, you’ll need to compose a new message, then tap the three-dot menu > confidential mode. To enable the option on your computer, you’ll need to be using the new Gmail interface. From here, you tap compose > confidential mode (it’s the padlock icon with a clock on it).

To manually revoke access to a confidential email on Android, open the sent message and tap the remove access option at the bottom of the email.