How to keep your Gmails private and prevent third-parties from reading them

Google has confirmed in recent days that private emails sent and received using its popular email service Gmail can sometimes be ready by third-party app developers.

This means that if you connected third-party apps to your Gmail account such as a travel planning app, then you might have given staff permission to read your emails without even realizing it.

It’s true that these apps do need to receive user consent, but the wording is as such that it’s not clear whether they mean humans, as opposed to computers doing the reading. Apps can request permission to “read, send, delete and manage your email” which will have the effect of allowing employees of third-party apps to read emails.

Edison Software, for example, told the Wall Street Journal that it has review the emails of hundreds of users to build a new software feature.

What does Google say of all of this? The global tech giant doesn’t seem too bothered by the recent revelation and actually said the practice was not against its policies.

While you are encouraged to thoroughly review the permissions screen before granting access to any non-Google application, there’s a way you can hide your Gmails from prying eyes.

You can do so from your Android app or from the desktop app.

How to hide your Gmails on Android

  1. From the Android Gmail app access, the menu located in the top left corner.
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Tap on My Account
  4. Select the hourglass icon located at the bottom and search for apps

  1. Tap on the first result Third-party apps with account access
  2. Revoke the permission given the apps that have access to Gmail by tapping on the “Remove Access” button.

How to hide your Gmails in the desktop app

  1. From your Gmail account, click on your profile image
  2. Click on Google Account

  1. In the Sign-in & security section, click on Apps with account access
  2. Click on the app(s) that have access to Gmail

  1. Click on the Remove access button

That’s it! Just follow these simple steps to ensure your Gmails are hidden from prying eyes.