Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Gmail app rolls out 'Confidential Mode' and self-destructing messages

While the new confidential mode may be useful for some users, Google cautions it is not meant to completely prevent sensitive information from being revealed.

Of course, the new feature doesn't stop someone from taking a screenshot of the email, but the updates do seem helpful.

"You can also make a message expire after a set period of time to help you stay in control of your information". Passcodes can either be through a separate email (users not using Gmail) or through an SMS (just keep in mind to enter their mobile # when you turn it on).

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The feature allows you to specify an expiration date or manually revoke access to a message. In order to start using Confidential mode, you must open Gmail, click Compose, and from the bottom right of the window tap Turn on confidential mode. This is a server-side update, so you don't need to go looking for an update in the Google Play Store.

Putting your email in Confidential Mode only takes a few steps.

On the top right, tap on three dots and tap on Confidential Mode.

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The app will then present a list of options related to the new feature.

The company's support page describes confidential mode in more detail.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) digital privacy advocacy group thinks that this new mode isn't secure at all, and might even lend users a false sense of security. You will see an option to remove access, just tap on that, and the recipient will no longer be able to access the file.

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For advanced protection, the sender of the message can also require the recipient to enter a passcode. I sent an email to myself with confidential mode, the attachment was a photo.

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