How to send a confidential email in Gmail on Android, iOS

Gmail users can set an expiration date or revoke access to messages through confidential mode. Here's how to use the feature on mobile.

How to use Gmail's Confidential Mode This new feature let you set a specific expiration date for an email, then it will automatically delete after the deadline. Here's how to make it work.

With Gmail's new confidential mode, users can send messages with an expiration date or revoke the recipient's access at any point, according to a Gmail Help post. In an effort to help users protect their sensitive email content, Gmail's confidential mode disables the forward, copy, print, and download options for recipients, said the post.

SEE: Cybersecurity in 2018: A roundup of predictions (Tech Pro Research)

Confidential mode prevents recipients from accidently sharing an email, said the post, but it doesn't stop recipients from taking screenshots or photos of sensitive messages. Users with malicious computer programs could still copy or download messages in confidential mode, explained the post.

The feature is now available for iOS and Android, but not yet accessible for G Suite customers, according to the post.

Here's how to send a message in confidential mode for iOS and Android:

  1. Tap Compose in the Gmail app.
  2. In the top right, click More and then Confidential mode.
  3. Set an expiration date, passcode, and other controls, which applies to the message's text and attachments.
    • If you choose "No SMS passcode," Gmail app users will be able to open it directly. Recipients who don't use Gmail will have a passcode emailed to them.
    • If you choose "SMS passcode," recipients will get a passcode by text message. Make sure you enter the recipient's phone number, instead of your own.
  4. Tap Done.

Users can also prevent recipients from opening an email before the expiration date. Here's how:

  1. In the Gmail app, tap Menu and then Sent.
  2. Open the sent confidential email.
  3. On the bottom of the screen, tap Remove access.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Gmail users can protect sensitive email content by sending messages in confidential mode, through which they can set an expiration date on a message or revoke recipient access.
  • Confidential mode prevents users from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading messages, however, users can still take screenshots of content.

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Image: iStockphoto/oatawa

By Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.