Many think that email is long overdue a retirement and services like Slack were meant to hasten that. Even Inbox was made by Google for that purpose only to itself be retired before email went out of fashion. Google is, instead, now focusing on how to at least upgrade the email experience via its own Gmail service’s new features. Like this Confidential mode that won’t exactly make emails safer but will at least make the more secret.
Gmail’s confidential mode isn’t exactly that new. It was first made available to personal Gmail accounts in mid-2018 but, ironically, will only be making its way to G suite customers next month. Ironic because its features are exactly what business and enterprise would probably need before regular email users.
Confidential mode enables three distinct related features, the most basic of which is that emails sent this way can’t be forwarded, copied, or downloaded. You can also set expiration dates and even revoke emails, almost like instant messaging systems.
Finally, confidential mode allows you to employ something like two-factor authentication and lock down emails. Recipients will have to key in a verification code sent to their phone via SMS. Not exactly the most secure medium but better than no lock at all.
While this does upgrade the email experience with enterprise-level security, it does come with an implied caveat. Its full and seamless experience works best with Gmail accounts and the Gmail app, which is probably Google’s not so subtle way to get everyone on board.