How to Send Self-Destructing Confidential Emails from Gmail

How often have you sent an email with sent an email containing sensitive information, and later wished it wasn’t just sitting in someone’s inbox for who knows how long?

There are a number of reasons you might want to retroactively delete an email, or add another layer of security, and Gmail’s confidential feature allows you to do that. 

Steps Toward Security

Though it should be noted that a public server like Gmail can’t promise total security, the added measures of confidential mode go a ways toward protecting you and your information. There are all sorts of precautions available in this mode, but one of the biggest is the ability to set an expiration date which will cause an email to self destruct. 

If you’re corresponding with an insurance company and don’t want your social security number lingering around in their emails, for example, you might want to set your message to expire within a week, and setting up this self destruction will only take a few extra moments. 

Setting The Deadline

Adding an expiration to your email is shockingly easy, but the process will vary slightly depending on whether you’re using the desktop version of Gmail or the app

On your computer, simply go to compose a new email. Across the bottom of the screen, you should notice a number of icons. One of them will look like a lock with a clock in front of it—click on that and you’ll be prompted to set an expiration.

On the app, go to compose an email but tap the three dots in the upper right hand corner; there you can choose confidential mode, which will allow you to set an expiration. 

Once you’ve set your parameters, the email will automatically destruct after your time frame, then you won’t have any security concerns after sending confidential messages.