We first learned about Google’s new “confidential mode” for Gmail back in April: a feature to help users better protect sensitive information they send to their contacts. After rolling out on desktop earlier this year, Google announced via its social channels on Thursday that confidential mode is now available on mobile devices as well.
“You can send messages and attachments with Gmail’s confidential mode to help protect sensitive information from unauthorized access,” Google explains on its support page for the new feature. “You can use confidential mode to set an expiration date for messages or revoke access at any time. Recipients of the confidential message will have options to forward, copy, print, and download disabled.”
In order to send a confidential mode email, just begin composing a message and tap the “Confidential mode” toggle from the menu at the top. You have the ability to set an expiration date as well as a passcode for the email, if you so choose. With a passcode enabled, recipients of the confidential mode email will have to enter a code that they will receive in an SMS message on their phones. Without it, they can’t open the email.
While confidential mode is undoubtedly a more secure way to send sensitive information such as a photo of your driver’s license or private documents, Google can’t stop a recipient from simply taking a screenshot of their screen once they open the email. Still, it’s always nice to see more security features for popular apps like Gmail.