How to Protect Your Gmail from Prying Eyes with Encryption


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We all know email is not secure, with a recent study finding that 99% of emails sent in 2015 were intercepted. To avoid this problem, you need to encrypt your Gmail account and protect it from privacy breaches like ransomware and hackers. This tutorial will walk through how encryption works on Google’s end as well as some methods you can use to ensure the protection of your data online.,

The “how to keep your email secure” is a great way to protect your Gmail from prying eyes. The article will show you how to encrypt your email, and what the best practices are for protecting yourself from phishing scams.

How to Protect Your Gmail from Prying Eyes with Encryption

Gmail, which has been available since 2004, is one of the most widely used email services. However, did you know that others may be able to read your emails? Yes, and Gmail has implemented email encryption to protect your emails.

Among other email services, Gmail is one of the most popular. It’s a Google-created free web-based email service that allows users to send and receive messages through email. On addition, you’ll learn how to encrypt any emails you send and read in Gmail in this video.


Only Enterprise, Business, and School organizations may use Google Workspace, which is a set of enterprise-based services and applications. However, if email security is a top issue for you as an individual, you may purchase the Enterprise membership.

Using Gmail to Encrypt Email

When it comes to email encryption, you have the option of sending or receiving. Let’s begin by learning how to use Gmail to send an encrypted email.

If you’re on your desktop, follow these steps to begin encrypting emails in Gmail:

1. Launch your preferred web browser.

2. Verify that S/MIME encryption is enabled. If you work for a company or a school, your IT administrator should already have S/MIME encryption enabled for you. However, you must activate it on your own as an individual.

Gmail encrypts emails using the S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) protocol. S/MIME encrypts email content to prevent it from being read by anybody other than the sender and receiver. Both the sender and the receiver must have S/MIME enabled in their Google Workspace accounts for S/MIME to operate.

3. Log in to Gmail using your Google Workspace account after activating S/MIME.

Your Google Workspace account is different from a typical account since it has a custom email domain, such as or, that was granted to you by your IT Admin. Or, for example,, which you generated yourself after purchasing a Google Workspace Enterprise membership.

4. To begin drafting a new email, click Compose in the upper-left corner of the screen, as shown below.

Making a New EmailMaking a New Email

5. Enter the email address of the receiver. The padlock symbol beneath BCC becomes green if the recipient’s email service supports S/MIME, as seen in the picture below.

To alter how the email should be secured, click the padlock symbol, then View information.

Changing the Encryption Settings for EmailChanging the Encryption Settings for Email

6. You have two encryption choices to select from, as illustrated below: Enhanced and Standard encryption. For the maximum level of protection, choose Enhanced encryption, which adds a digital signature to your email. A digital signature is used to verify the authenticity of the sender and the email message.

Click OK, then finish composing the email’s text before sending it.

Settings for Message SecuritySettings for Message Security

Using Gmail to Receive Encrypted Email

It’s time to learn how to view encrypted emails you’ve received in Gmail now that you know how to send encrypted emails. The ability to read encrypted emails is contingent on the email service employed by the sender to encrypt the message.

Continue reading to discover how to read encrypted emails from senders who utilized Gmail or non-Gmail email services.

When the sender used Gmail, I was able to read encrypted email.

If the sender uses Gmail to send you an encrypted email, Gmail will immediately convert it to readable format. Then, as seen below, just click on that encrypted email in your inbox and view the email’s content.

Viewing Gmail-Sent Encrypted EmailViewing Gmail-Sent Encrypted Email

To see whether the email you received was encrypted, open it in your Inbox and click on it. Then, as seen below, click the down-arrow icon under the sender’s email address. The data showing that the email was encrypted using S/MIME are now visible.

Viewing Email InformationViewing Email Information

Reading Encrypted Email from a Sender Other Than Gmail

When you click on an encrypted email you got from a different email service, you’ll see instructions for decrypting the email content.

As seen in the picture below, the sender utilized Outlook to send the email, but keep in mind that each email service will have its own method for doing so.

Select the encrypted email from your Inbox. When you click the Read the message button on the email preview, you’ll be sent to a website where you’ll be asked to sign in before you can access the email’s content.

Viewing Encrypted Email Sent using Outlook in GmailViewing Encrypted Email Sent using Outlook in Gmail

You’ll now be sent to this page, where you may access the email’s content using one of two methods: one-time passcode or Sign in with Google. Click Sign in with Google if you’re already signed in to your Gmail account.

To see an encrypted message, you must first sign in.To see an encrypted message, you must first sign in.

As you can see in the screenshot below, you now have temporary access to your email in an Outlook environment. You’ll have to go through the same procedure again the next time you want to review the email.

Viewing Outlook-Sent Encrypted EmailViewing Outlook-Sent Encrypted Email

Turning on Gmail’s Confidential Mode

No one else can see your email now that you’ve encrypted it. Activating Confidential Mode, on the other hand, is useful for limiting what the receivers may do with the email. The receivers will not be able to forward, copy, print, or download the email if Confidential Mode is enabled.

Follow the steps below to enable Confidential Mode for your email:

1. Log in to Gmail using your web browser.

2. To write a new email, click the Compose button in the top-left corner of the page.

Making a New EmailMaking a New Email

3. To enable confidential mode, click the padlock with a clock symbol on top at the bottom of the message composer.

Activating Confidential ModeActivating Confidential Mode

4. You’ll see the pop-up screen below when you enable Confidential Mode. Choose an expiry date for the email and if the reader needs an SMS passcode by using the drop-down box under the SET EXPIRATION section. The receiver is no longer able to open the email once the expiration date has passed. To continue, click Save.

If the SMS passcode option is used, the receiver will be required to enter an SMS passcode to their phone number in order to access the email. When you enable Confidential Mode, you also get an expiration date for the email, which is a window during which the receiver may still view it.

If you don’t have the recipient’s phone number, you may personally ask for it and then follow the steps, or you can pick the No SMS passcode option and send the email right away.

Setting Confidential Mode OptionsSetting Confidential Mode Options

5. As you can see in the screenshot below, Gmail confirms the email’s expiry date before you send it. To continue, click Send.

If you previously selected the No SMS Passcode option, the email will be delivered immediately, and you will not need to complete the next steps. Otherwise, as demonstrated in the following step, you must register the recipient’s phone number in the pop-up window.

Indicator of Confidential ModeIndicator of Confidential Mode

6. On the left side of the pop-up window, click the drop-down box (with a flag symbol) to register the recipient’s phone number. Then, from the drop-down menu, choose the nation that corresponds to the recipient’s phone number.

The receiver will get the SMS passcode to unlock the email contents if you follow this procedure.

Selecting Corresponding Country of Recipient's Phone NumberChoosing the Recipient’s Phone Number’s Corresponding Country

7. Finally, type in the recipient’s phone number, press Send, and you’re done! The email has been sent, and the receiver is prohibited from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading it.

When your email is opened, the receiver must confirm their phone number so that Gmail may give them an SMS passcode. They’ll get the passcode quickly if the number they enter matches the number you registered when sending the email.

Under the Viewing Confidential Email portion of this lesson, you’ll see the SMS verification procedure in action.

Registering Recipient's Phone NumberAdding the Phone Number of the Recipient

Getting Access to SMS Passcode Protected Email (Gmail to Gmail)

Confidential Mode in Gmail is a terrific method to add an extra degree of protection to your communications, and you’ll get a firsthand look at SMS passcode encrypted email.

You just need to click on the confidential email you got if the sender did not request an SMS passcode to read the communication. Otherwise, complete the SMS Passcode verification by following the instructions below.

1. Log in to your Gmail account using your web browser.

2. Navigate to your Inbox and choose an encrypted email.

3. Follow the steps below to get the passcode sent to your phone number. Select Send passcode from the drop-down menu.

After sending an email, there is no option to change the phone number used for SMS passcode verification. If the sender included an inaccurate phone number while sending the secret email, the email must be resent with the correct number.

Sending Passcode to Recipient's Phone NumberSending a Passcode to the Phone Number of the Recipient

4. Enter the passcode you got on your phone and select Submit, as shown below. If you are successful, the email will be unlocked, allowing you to see the contents.

After you complete the SMS passcode verification, you will have temporary access to the email content. You’ll have to repeat the procedure the next time you open the email.

Entering Passcode to Confirm Recipient's IdentityConfirming the identity of the recipient by entering a passcode


In this article, you’ve learned how to protect your emails in Gmail from prying eyes with email encryption. You also learned to add an extra layer of security to your email by Activating Confidential Mode. Now take advantage of your Google Workspace account and make it a habit to protect your emails.

How will you safeguard your email the next time you send it using Gmail?

The “5 ways to secure your email address” are methods that can be used to protect your Gmail account from prying eyes. The methods range from using a password, to encrypting messages.

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