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How to Encrypt Your Emails in Gmail

When you encrypt your emails in Gmail, it makes sure your communications remain private and secure. Gmail offers transport layer security (TLS) for emails sent between Gmail users, which encrypts emails during transmission but not end-to-end. For more robust encryption, consider using third-party tools like PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) or S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions).

In this step-by-step guide, we cover the multiple methods to help you encrypt emails in Gmail.

Using PGP for Gmail

To use PGP encryption with your Gmail account, browser extensions like Mailvelope or FlowCrypt are effective options. Here’s how to get started:

1. Visit your browser’s web store and install the Mailvelope or FlowCrypt extension.

2. Follow the setup instructions provided by the extension.

3. After installing the extension, generate a public and private key pair. Share your public key with your contacts and keep your private key secure.

4. When composing an email in Gmail, the extension will provide an option to encrypt the message.

Using S/MIME for Gmail

S/MIME is another robust encryption method, especially useful in corporate environments.

1. When logged into your Google account go to “Apps”> “Google Workspace”> “Gmail.”

2. Click on “User settings.”

3. In the left-hand panel, pick the domain for which you want to enable S/MIME encryption.

4. Click on “Enable S/MIME encryption for sending and receiving emails”> Click “Save.”

Gmail’s Confidential Mode

Gmail’s confidential mode enhances email security by allowing users to set expiration dates and control access to sensitive information.

1. Create a New Email.

2. Click on the lock icon at the bottom of the email editor to activate confidential mode.

How to Encrypt Your Emails in Gmail

3. In the configuration window, set an expiration date for your email and select “Save.”

How to Encrypt Your Emails in Gmail

4. To take it one step further, you can select “SMS passcode” under the “Require Passcode” section. This will send a passcode to the recipient via text message.

5. If you need to revoke access, navigate to your “Sent” folder> Open the email> Click on the “Remove access” button to immediately prevent the recipient from viewing the email.

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