Snapchat-like self-destruct email now available for Gmail

24 Jul 2015

It seems as if Snapchat is coming to email with a service called Dmail, a self-destruct email service that works as a Google Chrome extension.

The concept of a self-destruct email will no doubt have support during a time when people believe their privacy is being challenged and everything they do online is being recorded for some unknown future use.

Created by the social bookmarking service Delicious, once owned by YouTube’s co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, Dmail is a rather simple concept on Gmail that gives people the option to delete an email at any time after its been sent, or after a designated time.

The launch of Dmail comes not long after Google introduced a similar service allowing Gmail users to undo an email they just sent, but had been limited to a maximum time allowance of just 30 seconds.

Self destruct email Dmail

Dmail, however, appears to allow for an email to self-destruct after a maximum of one week, or in as little as an hour.

According to TechCrunch, users who don’t have Dmail installed will still be able to read the message, but will be prompted with a notification making them aware it was sent through the extension.

In terms of encryption, Dmail uses a standard 256-bit encryption algorithm, encrypted locally on the Dmail sender’s computer.

“Neither Gmail nor Dmail servers ever receive both the decryption key and encrypted message. Only the recipient and sender can read the email legibly,” said lead on the Dmail project, Eric Kuhn.

Currently only available on Gmail, the Dmail team aim to expand to other email services as well as having dedicated apps for Android and iOS in the near future.

Emergency stop button image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic