What is “Confidential Mode” in Gmail?

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Working in “Confidential Mode” allows you to send emails with sensitive information with a higher level of protection. Emails sent in confidential mode can’t be forwarded, and you can choose whether to require a recipient to use a passcode to read it.

To send an email in confidential mode, click the icon that looks like a lock at the text window’s bottom. You will be prompted to choose an expiration date and whether or not you want to require a passcode. If you want the recipient to enter a code, you must provide their phone number so they receive a text with the SMS passcode they need to enter.

The recipient of an email sent in confidential mode will not be able to print, download, copy or forward it. (It will look like you can print and reply to a different person, but the message won’t be visible.) Be warned, however, that the reader could still take a screenshot and pass on the information in a downloaded image if they wished. Hopefully, your recipients have good intentions, and the use of confidential mode just makes your sensitive messages more protected than sending emails without it.

Robin Bridson