“Confidential mode” is developed by Google to ensure your message can only be viewed by your intended recipient.
What Is Gmail’s Confidential Mode?
The intended receiver must enter a code to read the mail while sending a message to Gmail using the confidential mode.
Sending a confidential message requires an email notification to the receiver, who will then receive it. To read it, you need to check your identity by using a code sent by email or SMS (to a number of you who have chosen) before you can read it.
The email would not contain all of the contents of the message. The message is only available on the servers of Google instead. Messages submitted in a confidential mode often expire in addition to the verification process. A week, month, three-month, or five-year expiration date may be selected.
How to Send Confidential Emails in Gmail
To start composing the new message in the confidential mode, sign in and press the Compose button in the top-left corner. Then, in the compose window, press ‘Confidential Mode.’ Next, add a recipient, a subject line, and a body for your message (It looks like a padlock with a clock on it.).
Set the expiry time in the window that shows to decide if a passcode is required by SMS or not. If you choose “No SMS Passcode,” the code will be sent to the same email address as the field “To.”
Click “Save,” and before you press Send, check your message. You will have to enter the Mobile Number of the recipient before your message is sent if you have opted for the SMS Passcode Verification. Don’t enter the incorrect number!
Remove Access to a Message You have Sent.
You can remove Access to a message you already sent if you like. Email the message via confidential mode will be displayed in your box (You can also find it under Sent.).
Click on the message and then “Remove the access” to “Unsend” a confidential email. If the user has not read the email yet, they cannot access it once Access has been removed.
The Drawbacks to Gmail’s Approach
Confidential mode is less secure if you do not need an SMS passcode verification. For example, if you already have compromised your email address, the verifying code is virtually useless if the owner has signed in to a public computer.
Instead, it’s close to how two-factor authentication works to have a different mobile number that needs SMS verification. And if the email address has been affected, the sender cannot read the message without Access to the mobile number.
Unfortunately, the approach of Gmail is far from being truly stable email providers such as ProtonMail and Tutanota. For example, Gmail would not encrypt the content in your inbox on the server as most email providers do. Instead, the message will be viewed technically by Google’s employees—or who accesses your Google account.
Get Better Privacy with a Secure Email Provider
And with just one message, a secure email provider is a better option than Gmail or other webmail services like Outlook if privacy matter to you.