Home > Technology > News > This Gmail feature will ensure your mail doesn't get forwarded, copied: Know how

Ever wondered what impact your mails can have once sent from your side? In a world filled with forwards and constant snooping, the power of digital footprint is far beyond anyone's imagination. Personal mails, confidential information and other sorts of sensitive matter shared has a high potentiality of being exposed if misused by others. However, Google has one important Gmail feature to protect your mails from the horror of being misused.

Known as the 'Confidential Mode', the feature is reflected once you click on the 'Compose Mail' option. It is available for all Gmail users - both GSuite administrators and other users.

Elaborating on the feature, Google in its blog says, "recipients of messages in confidential mode don't have the option to forward, copy, print, or download messages, including attachments. Users can set a message expiration date, revoke message access at any time, and require an SMS verification code to access messages." In additoon to that, you can set a message expiration date and require an SMS verification code for recipients to access messages.

How to send confidential mails:

The process is very simple and is similar for all systems including desktop, Android phones, iPhones and iPads. Following are the steps involved:

-Log into your Gmail account or Gmail app.

-Click Compose.

-For desktop version, In the bottom right of the window, click Turn on confidential mode. The icon looks like a little timer and comes along with the other icons such as format, attach etc.

The Confidential Mode looks like a timer icon.
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The Confidential Mode looks like a timer icon. (Google)

For Android and iPhone users using the Gmail app, tap on the three dots in the top right for 'More' and then tap on Confidential mode.

-Once you click on the icon, a dialog box will pop up on your screen for you to set the expiration date. Set an expiration date and passcode.

-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 correct phone number, not your own.

-Click Save and then Send. For Android, iPhone and iPad users, tap on the 'Done' button

How to prevent the recipient from gaining access to the mail before the expiration date:

There is also a provision offered by Google on Gmail that will let you remove the access rights from the recipient even before the expiration date. The steps are:

-Log into Gmail account.

-Click on the 'Sent' folder on the left.

-Open the confidential email.

-Click 'Remove access'.

How to open mails sent via Confidential Mode:

Follow these steps to access the confidential mail sent to you by the user:

-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 if the sender has set the passcode option.

All the steps and procedures shares above can be easily implied on the Gmail app for both Android and iOS users.

However, there is a catch. Google in its blog clearly mentions that this mode does not entirely make your mails untraceable. It states that although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing an email, it doesn't prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. The ones receiving the mail who have malicious programs on their computer may still be able to copy or download your messages or attachments.

Google also recently added a Gmail feature to save users from sending multiple forwarded mails. The new feature will essentially let you send multiple emails as attachments and will cut down on forwarding emails to the same person or persons whenever there is any information that needs to be communicated between a team. The feature is initially rolling out to G Suite users and is likely to be available to all users soon.

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