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Email has made it super easy to be able to talk to people around the world. If you have a Gmail account, you know that you can access your messages from any device you own if you are connected to the internet. That makes keeping in touch with others easy and convenient.

With the increased use of emails for communication comes the risk of having your private information fall into the wrong hands. Whether you use your Gmail account for business or personal use, encrypting your emails is a good idea. If you get a secured email, you might be wondering how to open encrypted email in Gmail.

Creating Confidential Emails in Gmail

Before getting into how to open encrypted email in Gmail, it’s important to understand that Gmail allows you to send important emails to your intended recipients using their confidential mode. You have the ability to send and receive these types of emails. To use this option, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Open Your Gmail Account

Before being able to send a confidential email, you’ll need to access your Gmail account. Use any browser you would like, and then input your username and password when prompted to do so.

Step 2: Open a New Email Window

After you have gained access to your email account, you’ll then need to open the window to create a new email message. To do this, click the “Compose” button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. It has a multicolored plus sign next to it.

Step 3: Input Your Recipient and Subject

In the new email window, add your recipient’s email address and a subject line. If you have a message you want to send, you’ll type this information in as well.

If you are wondering how to send secure email attachments in Gmail, while composing your message, you can also attach documents that you want to send to your recipients.

click on the compose button and write your email - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

Step 4: Make the Email Confidential

After adding the message or attaching a document to your email, you’ll then need to make it confidential. To do this, you’ll click on the icon at the bottom of the screen that has a padlock and clock.

A new window will open, and you’ll need to determine which options work best for you. The confidential mode in Gmail works by only allowing the recipient to access the information for a limited amount of time.

click on the lock with a clock on it which indicates confidential mode - how to send secure email attachments in Gmail

The options you can choose from include:

  • 1 day
  • 1 week
  • 1 month
  • 3 months
  • 5 years

You can also add a passcode to the email. Google generates these automatically for you, and it can add some extra security to your email.

If you choose to add a passcode to your email, you will need to know the recipient’s cellphone number. This allows the code to be sent directly to the phone so that they can access the information that was emailed to them. It adds another level of security to your message and ensures that it is accessed by the intended recipient.

set expiration time then click on the save button - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

Again, if you are wondering how to send secure email attachments in Gmail, adding a passcode will help with that endeavor.

When it comes to email attachment security best practices, adding a passcode to the message will ensure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. It’s super easy to accidentally type in the wrong address, but when a passcode is required, it can be more challenging for the wrong person to read your message.

It will come down to personal preference when it comes to determining how long the recipient will get to access the email and whether or not they’ll need a passcode to get the information.

Tip

To ensure that only intended recipients are receiving and reading your emails, adding encryption might be in your best interest. This is a good practice to get into if you use Gmail or Yahoo for your business, but it can be applied to personal messages as well. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious with all of your information.

How to Open Encrypted Email in Gmail

Now that you know how to send a confidential email in Gmail, if you receive one, you may be asking how to open it. This process is quick and easy.

Step 1: Open Your Email Account

The great thing about confidential emails from Gmail is that they can be sent to any other email service provider. Before being able to access the information, you’ll need to log in to whatever email account it was sent to.

Step 2: Open the Email

Once you have gained access to your inbox, you’ll then open the confidential email. You will be notified that the sender sent the message via Gmail confidential mode, and to open it, you’ll need to click on the blue “View the email” button in the middle of the screen.

If there is no passcode, the message will open in a new tab, and you’ll be able to read it for as long as it is available.

For messages where a passcode was included, after you click on “View the email,” a new window will open asking you to confirm your identity. You’ll have to click on the “Send Passcode” button and input that number before you are able to view the contents of the email.

click on the view the email button - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

Gmail Encryption Plugin

In addition to using the confidential mode option in Gmail, you might also consider adding a Gmail encryption plugin. One of the options you have when it comes to encrypting your email messages is to get the FlowCrypt Chrome extension. If you decide to add this to your account, here are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Go to the FlowCrypt Site

Open your Chrome browser, then head over to FlowCrypt. Once at the site, click on the “Get Chrome Extension” button.

Go to the FlowCrypt Site and click on the get chrome extension button - Gmail encryption plugin

Step 2: Add the Extension to Chrome

Clicking the extension button on the FlowCrypt website will then take you to the Chrome Web Store. Once there, you’ll want to click the “Add to Chrome” button. This is blue and can be found on the right-hand side of the screen.

add the flowcrypt browser extension to chrome - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

Step 3: Set Up FlowCrypt

After the extension has been added to Chrome, you’ll need to set it up. To do this, you’ll need to click on the puzzle-piece icon, which is found next to the search bar at the top of the screen.

A drop-down menu will appear after you click on that icon. Look for and click on the FlowCrypt option, which has a green and gray triangle.

click on flowcrypt located at the right top corner - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

Step 4: Add Gmail

Once you’ve clicked on the Flow Crypt icon, a new window will open. You’ll need to click “Continue with Gmail.” Another window will pop up and ask you which email address you’d like to use.

If you only have one, the choice will be easy. If you have more than one, you can follow these steps to add this extension to all of your Gmail accounts to ensure your information is safe.

Step 5: Allow FlowCrypt Access

After deciding which email you want to add the Gmail encryption plugin to, you will be asked to give FlowCrypt permission to access your account so that it can “Manage drafts and send emails” as well as “View and modify but not delete your email.”

Click on the “Allow” button at the bottom of the screen on the right-hand side.

Allow FlowCrypt Access to your gmail account - How to open encrypted emails in Gmail

After deciding which email you want to add the Gmail encryption plugin to, you will be asked to give FlowCrypt permission to access your account so that it can “Manage drafts and send emails” as well as “View and modify but not delete your email.”

Click on the “Allow” button at the bottom of the screen on the right-hand side.

Note About First Time Use

The first time you open FlowCrypt to encrypt your Gmail messages, you will be asked if you want to create a “New Encryption Key” or “Use My Own Private Key.”

In most cases, you’ll want a new encryption key. The only time you would use the other option is if you have used OpenPGP software in the past and have been assigned a private key.

How to Open Encrypted Email in Gmail Using FlowCrypt

Now that you have downloaded the extension and can use it to encrypt emails, you might be wondering how to open encrypted email in Gmail using FlowCrypt. Thankfully, the process is quick and easy.

Step 1: Open Your Gmail Account

If you aren’t already logged in to your Gmail email, that’s the first thing you’ll need to do.

Step 2: Open the Email

Once you’ve gained access to your inbox, you’ll then need to open the encrypted email.

FlowCrypt will automatically decrypt the message, so you should be able to read it without any issues.

The only exception would be how you set up your FlowCrypt account. If you require a passphrase, you’ll need to input that before you can read any of your messages.

click on the FlowCrypt icon to encrypt messages - Gmail encryption plugin
Tip

You get to decide how much security is just the right amount. It doesn’t matter if it’s business-related or personal, making sure your message doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is essential. Thankfully, there are numerous options that will help you keep your information safe.

How to Open an Encrypted Email in Yahoo

In addition to creating and opening encrypted emails in Gmail, you might also be wondering how to open an encrypted email in Yahoo. If this is your primary email service provider, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

Step 1: Open Your Browser

The best way to open an encrypted email in Yahoo is to use a free extension. For the particular extension we list, it can be used in Chrome, Edge, or Firefox.

You get to pick which browser you prefer out of these three.

Step 2: Download the Extension

One of the best extensions to use to open encrypted messages in Yahoo is Mailvelope. After opening either the Chrome, Edge, or Firefox browser, you’ll then need to go to the Mailvelope site.

At the bottom of the screen, on the right-hand side, you will see a button that says, “Download Mailvelope.”

Click on that.

Step 3: Set Up Mailvelope

Once the extension has been added to your browser, you’ll need to configure it. To do this, you’ll need to click on the Mailvelop icon, which is a pink circle with an “M” in it.

The first step in the process will be to set up a PGP key. You have several options to choose from, including:

  • “Generate key” – this option should be used if you are using this extension for the first time
  • “Import Key” – if you already have a key on another device, you can use this option to import it into this account
  • “GnuPG connection” – for this option, you’ll need to click on the available link to see what it has to offer

If you choose to generate a new key, a new menu will pop up asking you for information. Fill in the required sections before hitting the “Generate” button.

Step 4: Open the Email

After going through the process of downloading and configuring Mailvelope, to read an encrypted email in Yahoo, all you need to do is open the message and then insert your password. The extension will recognize that it has been encrypted and decrypt it so that you can read the message.

Tip

When it comes to adding attachments to your messages, you might be wondering about email attachment security best practices. You have several options to choose from, including creating a secure PDF to email to the recipient or adding encryption to your email — or both.

Email Encryption for Added Security

Technology has made it incredibly easy to send messages through email, but that information can also fall prey to hackers and other unsavory individuals. To keep your business propositions or personal plans safe, adding encryption is advised.

If you find yourself wondering how to open encrypted email in Gmail, adding an extension is your best option. These are the steps you’ll need to follow:

  • Step 1: Go to the FlowCrypt Site
  • Step 2: Add the Extension to Chrome
  • Step 3: Set Up FlowCrypt
  • Step 4: Add Gmail
  • Step 5: Allow FlowCrypt Access
  • Step 6: Open the Email

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support Clever Sequence

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