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Gmail’s confidential mode is coming to GSuite next month

Good news for businesses wanting to make internal communication that bit more secure: Google’s confidential mode will be landing on all domains with Gmail embedded next month, on June 25 2019, Google has announced.

The update offers a bit more peace of mind for corporations that need to share emails with confidential information. It adds the ability for users to set a ‘self destruct’ date on emails, as well as giving people the chance to revoke emails that have been previously sent.

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It’ll be enabled by default –  though the business administrator can always disable it if they choose. Like the version for personal accounts, that doesn’t mean every inane email you send will have a self-destruct date, and you have to enable it by pressing the ‘locked clock’ icon near the send button.

If confidential mode is activated, the email’s receiver won’t be able to forward, copy, print or download the email. You can even set it up so that emails only open once an SMS verification code has been sent.

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All very secure, though not 100% foolproof. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation pointed out last year, it can’t stop people screenshotting your email, and certain traces live on in the ‘sent’ folder.

It also won’t stop people reading over your shoulder if you’re checking in on email on public transport. The best defence we’ve seen against that so far is BlackBerry’s Privacy Shade, found in the BlackBerry KEYone, which turns the whole screen black, letting you reveal a line at a time to make snooping that bit harder.  

Is confidential mode something that you use, or is it more hassle than it’s worth? Let us know your experience of the feature on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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