5 Simple Ways to Make Your Gmail Inbox Safer

Here’s a tip that can save you from yourself. Gmail comes with an Undo Send feature that enables you to recall a dispatched email before it reaches its recipients, if you’re quick enough—it works by delaying the sending of the email for a few seconds, so you can click Undo if you notice a typo or the wrong contact in the To field.

By default the Undo Send window is set at 10 seconds, but you can increase this to 20 or even 30 seconds to give yourself more time to think “Did I really mean to say that?” Simply click the cog icon in the top right corner of the main Gmail interface, then Settings, then open the General tab and the Undo Send drop-down menu. You never know when you might be glad you added those extra seconds.

*3. Use Confidential Mode

Screenshot: David Nield via Google

Gmail’s recently added Confidential mode is a more secure method of email delivery—the recipient(s) can’t copy, forward, print or download the message, you can set it to expire after a certain time, and you can even protect access with a passcode (just in case the inbox you’re sending it to has been compromised).

You can activate Confidential mode by clicking on the small padlock symbol at the bottom of the compose window. It’s particularly worthwhile switching on for those messages with private or sensitive contents, anything where you want to be absolutely sure that no one else is going to be able to read what’s inside a message.

At the other end of a confidential email, the recipient(s) will be able to see the expiration date that you’ve added, and won’t have all the usual options for forwarding and printing available to them. The maximum amount of time a confidential email can exist is five years, so this isn’t for messages that you want to stick around forever.

A few caveats to these self-destructing, super-secure messages: If the people getting these emails aren’t using the official Gmail apps, they’ll need to open the messages up on the web instead. Also, bear in mind that there’s nothing to stop your contacts taking screenshots of confidential messages and then passing on those images, so the mode is best used for people you trust.

*4. Delete Cached Offline Data

Screenshot: David Nield via Google
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