Google Gmail is one of the most widely used E-mail service and to further provide a more secure experience, the company has announced that it will soon be adding end-to-end encryption to the service. However, the catch here is that not all Gmail users can take advantage of the added layer of security. Read on to know more.
Who is it available for?
Encrypted emails are currently in beta and limited to Google Workspace Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, and normal Education accounts. The feature is currently not available to users with, “Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Education Fundamentals, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business” accounts, clarifies Google. It is also not available to personal Google account users yet.
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How to get encrypted E-mail feature on Gmail?
Those accounts which are eligible to get the service will need to sign up for the Client Side Encryption (CSE) beta and fill out an application. The last date for submitting the applications is January 20, 2023. Google says it will be accepting beta applications and allowlisting customers over the next several weeks.
Client-side encryption is already available for a bunch of Google’s own services, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Google Meet, and Google Calendar (beta).
How does the encrypted E-mail feature work?
Once enabled, Gmail start encrypting your data in your email body and attachments, such as inline images. However, Google clarifies that the header of the emails, timestamps, and recipient lists won’t be encrypted. Next, you will be able to toggle CSE on individual emails by clicking the lock icon present next to the ‘recipients’ field.
“Using client-side encryption in Gmail ensures sensitive data in the email body and attachments are indecipherable to Google servers. Customers retain control over encryption keys and the identity service to access those keys”, says Google.