Email is one of the earliest forms of communication on the internet. You certainly have at least an email address if you’re reading this. Critics decry the eventual fall of email, especially considering that one of the biggest issues with emailing is that it isn’t very secure and private.
By default, Gmail doesn’t provide you with means to encrypt attachments or messages. This leaves you susceptible to snoops, thieves, and hackers.
How can you boost the security of your email communications through Gmail, you ask? Let’s break down the simple steps to secure your Gmail emails.
Why Send Secure Emails?
A secure email ensures that your online communications are confidential and cannot leak to outside parties. Some occupations are also very sensitive and would require a secure channel to send information.
A secure email is one only the sender and the recipients can access. This email is encrypted better than regular emails as the receiver will require a key from Google to open the email. The email can also expire from the receiver’s inbox and disappear. Receivers are blocked from copying, downloading, printing, or forwarding the contents of the email, adding an extra layer of protection to the email.
Fortunately, encrypting email is quite a simple process. Let’s dive into a few methods of sending secure emails on your computer and phone.
Sending a Secure Email in Gmail with Your PC
Follow the below steps to send a secure email.
Step 1: Go to Gmail.com
Open your preferred browser and log in to your Gmail account.
Step 2: Select Compose Email
The Compose button is on the top lefthand corner of your Gmail home screen. Click on it. It will open a new message box where you can compose the email you want to send and add any attachments.
Step 3: Click on the Confidential Mode icon
There are several icons on the new message box on the lower part. Look for the one that looks like a padlock, and if you hover the pointer on it, it will show you that it’s the Toggle confidential mode. Click on it
Step 4: Choose a preferred expiration date and passcode
On the menu that pops up from step 3, choose the expiration date for this email. This determines the period the email will stay in the receiver’s inbox before it disappears.
You can also choose the SMS passcode option if you wish to. The passcode will be generated by google and only shared with the expected recipient.
Once you have set these parameters, click on Save.
Step 5: Select Send email
A new box opens up below the email showing the expiration date and the encryption given to the email. You can also edit these parameters from here.
Once you are satisfied with the email, you can send it.
In the following video, KnowledgeBase demonstrates how you can send an encrypted Gmail email in under a minute.
Sending a Secure Email in Gmail on Your Phone
Smartphones are a good option for sending emails while on the go. Confidential mode is also accessible through the following steps to the Gmail phone app.
Step 1: Go to the Gmail app on your iPhone or Android device.
Step 2: Tap on the Compose icon
You can type out your email here and add your attachments and links.
Step 3: Tap on the three-dot menu
The three-dot menu is located at the top righthand corner of your screen, and clicking on it will open a box.
Step 4: Tap on Confidential Mode
Step 5: Set the expiration date and choose if it requires a passcode
Tap the drop-down arrow on the Set Expiry to choose the expiration period. The drop-down arrow on Require Passcode will also let you choose between Standard and SMS Passcode.
Once you set the parameters, click on Save.
Step 6: Send your email
A message showing the confidential mode settings will appear below your email. Once you are satisfied with the email, tap on Send.
What the Email Recipient Sees
When you send a secure email, the recipient does not see a preview of the email. It shows that the email was sent in Confidential Mode, and they will have to open it to see its contents.
When you open the email, it has a message box at the bottom showing the expiry date of the email.
Removing Access From an Already Sent Secure Email
If you decide the recipient shouldn’t receive the email anymore, you can revoke their access. You will need to navigate to the sent emails, find them and remove access. On the sent email, click on the Remove Access icon.
Keep Online Communication Safe with Email Encryption
Protecting your identity, data, and privacy is undeniably important. Taking the time to learn these steps is great for protecting your emails from unwanted intruders. Use the best practices and instructions provided to send secure emails.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ascannio/Shutterstock.com.