Gmail confidential mode

Protect Gmail messages with confidential mode

Gmail users can now help protect sensitive information from unauthorised access using Gmail confidential mode. When Gmail messages are sent in confidential mode, it helps protect from unauthorised access and recipients don’t have the option to forward, copy, print, or download their content or attachments. Senders can also set an expiration date for messages sent with confidential mode and revoke access to them at any time.  Below is an excerpt from Gmail’s notification for enterprise users.

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What do I need to know?

When someone sends a confidential mode message, Gmail removes the message body as well as any attachments from the message and stores them in their Vault, whilst the recipient receives a link to access their message and/or attachments. If you’re sending to another Gmail user, the linked content will appear as if it’s part of the message, if the message is being sent to non-Gmail clients, the message will display as a link

What does this mean for your organisation?

From June 25, your users will have the option to send emails with confidential mode, unless you disable this feature.

As an administrator, you can determine whether your users can use confidential mode by selecting from the following setting options:

  • Disable: This option prevents users in your domain from sending emails with confidential mode.
  • Enable now (beta): This option will enable confidential mode, which is currently in beta. However, the feature will remain enabled when it enters into general availability on June 25, 2019.
  • Enable when the feature is in general availability: This is the default option and will enable confidential mode when this feature becomes generally available on June 25, 2019.

What do I need to do?

Please ensure that you select the appropriate option in the Admin console for your organisation before June 25, 2019.

You can find this setting in the Admin console by navigating to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Gmail > User settings.

If you do not take action before June 25, your domain will automatically have confidential mode turned on for your users, meaning that users will have the option to send emails with confidential mode.


How does Gmail confidential mode work with Vault and eDiscovery?

When a user sends a confidential message, Gmail replaces the message body and attachments with a link. Only the subject and body containing the link are sent via SMTP. This means that, if your users send or receive messages in Gmail confidential mode, Vault will retain, preserve, search and export confidential mode messages. The message body of received messages will be accessible in Vault only if the sender of the message is from within your organisation. Learn more about how Vault works for confidential mode messages here.

Important: Although confidential mode helps prevent the recipients from accidentally sharing an email, it doesn’t prevent recipients from taking screenshots or photos of your messages or attachments. Recipients who have malicious programs on their computer may be able to copy or download your messages or attachments.

More information can be found here

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