Top Secret: Learn to send self-destructing messages

We propose several options to send messages with a particularity: after a while they will disappear without a trace.

It is ironic, but sometimes we must convey sensitive information but, at the same time, we must ensure that this information does not reach other hands. For this, we have several options and solutions thanks to encryption or expiration of messages. There are mail clients, messaging apps and even websites specialized in this task.

Below we compile different solutions that will allow you to send a message that will disappear from the view of the person who receives it after a period of time that you yourself can define previously. Thus, you will have the opportunity to transmit a message without fear of spreading outside the scope in which you sent it.

Of course, there is no 100% safe method. However, if there is nothing left but to send such a message with sensitive information such as a password or a bank account, the following solutions will allow you to do it in a safer way than in a traditional way.

From Gmail

When we click on Compose to create a new email message, since recently we can also provide an extra privacy to that message by password or by expiration.

It is called Confidential Mode and is activated by pressing the lock and clock button when we are going to write a new email. A new window will open that allows two things: ask for a password to read that message or it expires.

The expiration can be one day, one week, one month, three months or five years. It will depend on the importance of the message and the margin you give to those who receive the sensitive information.

From Outlook

The desktop version of Outlook also allows you to set an expiration date for your email messages. In Outlook 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and Office 365, you can limit the lifetime of a message.

When creating a new message, we go to Options> More options> Message options. In Delivery options we activate Expires after and, finally, we indicate a date and time.

However, this option does not delete the messages, just cross them out. If we look for a real expiration, we need to go to a complement.

From Outlook, in any version, we go to the add-ons and choose the XQ for Outlook add-in. It is free and, among other things, allows you to protect messages using a password and add an expiration date.

By default, messages with expiration date expire after 3 days, but we can open the drop-down menu and choose another option.

From Telegram

If you prefer to send messages that self-destruct through instant messaging instead of using email, a good option is Telegram, an app available for mobile devices but also for computers.

To send messages that expire, we must open a secret chat. By clicking on the New message icon we choose the option Create a secret chat. Then we choose the contact that will receive this message and, finally, click on the clock icon and then select Self Destruction and a time limit.

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