Gmail gets end-to-end encryption, but not everyone can test it

Gmail gets end-to-end encryption, but not everyone can test it

End-to-end encryption is an increasingly important feature for apps and services that deal with user data. This security functionality is usually associated with chat apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, Signal and others. But other services, like Apple’s iCloud backup, also support end-to-end encryption. In the future, the same type of privacy protection will be available in Google’s popular email app. Gmail is getting end-to-end encryption, and some Google accounts may be testing it already.

Google already encrypts all data that passes between your devices and its servers. And it encrypts the data it stores on its servers. That kind of protection was always there for every Gmail account.

End-to-end encryption is an additional layer of protection. It ensures that not even Google can decrypt your data.

As a result, sensitive emails you may send through Gmail will be more secure. It will be almost impossible for third parties to access or hack them.

End-to-end encryption (or client-side encryption) is available for beta testing for Gmail users who are part of Google Workspace accounts. Enterprise Plus, Education Standard and Education Plus users can complete an application to enable the end-to-end encryption feature.

According to the supporting document, the application window will be available until 20 January 2023.

Users will see a padlock button and when clicked, it will encrypt email when composing a new message. End-to-end encrypted emails will encrypt almost everything inside the message: Email text, attachments and embedded images.

The email header, subject, timestamps and recipient lists are not end-to-end encrypted.

Enabling end-to-end encryption also means giving up some features you might use in Gmail. Included in the list are emojis, signatures and Smart Compose.

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“Client-side encryption is particularly beneficial for organizations that store sensitive or regulated data, such as intellectual property, health records or financial data,” informed Google spokesperson Ross Richendrfer Gizmodo.

Google first announced the feature in June 2021 when it added end-to-end encryption to Google Drive. End-to-end encryption is also available for Google Meet and is being beta tested in Calendar.

It’s unclear how long the Gmail beta test will last, or whether end-to-end encryption will roll out to users who don’t have Google Workspace subscriptions.

While you wait for your Gmail account to support end-to-end encryption, there are several steps you can take to improve your safety and security. One trick allows you to create an unlimited number of email addresses in your Gmail account to try to deal with spam. Meanwhile, there are also features to help you stop companies from spying on you via email.

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