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Keeping your data safe and tidy in your inbox: 5 ways to keep your Gmail secure

Simple steps will help protect your data and clean up the mess in your inbox at the same time, writes "Lifehacker".

Photo: Shutterstock

1. Block spammers

If someone clogs your mail, and Gmail does not count these emails as spam, you can block a specific sender.

Open his letter, click on the three dots in the upper right corner and select the "Block sender" option.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

All subsequent messages from this address will be automatically sent to your spam folder.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

Another way is to use filters. To do this, click on the same three dots on the right and select "Filter similar letters". In the menu that appears, define the criteria: sender's address, subject, specific words.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

Then decide what happens to these messages. For example, you can mark them as read, archive them, or send them as spam.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

2. Increase the time of the "Cancel Send" option

It allows you to return a sent letter before it reaches the addressee. When this option is enabled, the message transmission process is delayed by 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds. This is very convenient in case you noticed a typo in the text or sent an email to the wrong person.

By default, the time interval for canceling a send is 10 seconds, but it is better to increase it to the maximum. To do this, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner, then select "All settings" → "General" and find the item "Cancel sending" in the list.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

3. Use confidential mode

In this case, recipients cannot copy, forward, print or download your message. In addition, in this mode it is possible to set a period (after its expiration, the letter will be deleted) and an access code.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

To enable confidential mode, click on the padlock icon when writing a new letter. It's at the bottom, next to the Add Photo option.

Use this mode when you want to be absolutely sure that no one else will read your message. But keep in mind: if the recipient is not using the official Gmail app, they will have to open the email in their browser. And of course, all these precautions do not guarantee that the addressee will not take screenshots or share them.

On the subject: How to upload a copy of everything Google knows about you

4. Delete data stored offline

You can work with Gmail offline too. This is useful when you have a poor internet connection, but not very good from a security standpoint. Someone who has access to the device you were using and knows what to look for can extract a lot of information from the local cache.

If you logged into your mail from a PC that you share with colleagues, or from someone else's computer (for example, in a library), make sure that all data will be deleted when you sign out of your account.

Open the “Offline” tab in the settings and select “Delete offline mail data from computer” in the “Security” item. And don't forget to log out when you're done with emails.

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

Select in the "Security" item the action "Delete offline mail data from computer"

5. Hide images

Email tracking is a fairly common problem. The bottom line is that the sender can find out whether you opened his letter or not, whether you forwarded the message to someone else, when you did all this and on what device.

This is done using small inline images called tracking pixels. They provide very useful information for marketers, but hardly anyone wants to be followed like that.

On the subject: Facebook accused of spying on users through a phone camera

Gmail automatically scans images in emails for signs of spam and fraudulent attacks. The Help Center states: "If the sender or message is suspicious, the pictures will not be displayed and Gmail will ask you for permission to display them."

If you want to go further, you can hide all images (you get a bonus: your mail will load faster). To do this, open the settings, and then on the "General" tab in the "Images" item, select the option "Ask if you want to show images."

Photo: screenshot of Gmail

Now you will not see pictures in your inbox, but you can download them in letters from those you trust.

Miscellaneous email gmail Educational program

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