It’s hard to pinpoint the precise date of e-mail’s inception. The early 1960’s saw early iterations of the streamlined system which would go on to carry the wise words of world leaders and the forwarded ramblings of conspiracy theorist uncles all the same. The instantaneous nature of e-mail bred efficiency as well as instantaneous finality. Writing out a letter, putting it in an envelope, stamping it then dropping it in a mailbox has ample steps for one to reconsider one’s planned message. That’s not the case with e-mail.
Once that send button is hit, it’s gone, it’s in an inbox, and—oh no, you’ve made a horrible mistake; why can’t it just self-destruct? If you’re a Gmail user, rescinding an accidentally sent e-mail takes just 5 seconds, but if you’re looking for your e-mail to actually have an expiration date, there are a few steps you need to take, via Gadget Hacks.
First off, you’ll need to download Protonmail, a free e-mail encryption app available for both Android and Apple users. For those with an iPhone, it only takes up 38 MB worth of space, which is a storage junkie’s delight (if you somehow don’t even have 38MB available, try this storage clearing hack.)
Once you have the app, compose your exploding e-mail. Next, hit the clock icon in the center of the screen, and set a length of time you want the message to live on for (the life span can range from 1 hour to 28 days). And finally, go to the lock icon on the left side of the screen and set a password for the e-mail. The expiration requires end-to-end encryption, so if you’re sending the e-mail to a non-ProtonMail user, entering the password will close the proverbial circuit and allow the expiration clock to start ticking.
If executed properly, your message will be gone before the recipient knows what digitally hit him or her. If that person has Protonmail, every last trace will be gone, if that person does not, the e-mail itself will still sit in their inbox, but any attachments or text will have mysteriously disappeared. Like a ghost e-mail. Like one of those messages in Mission Impossible but without the smoke. You’re doing them a favor, after all—reading your e-mail at work does make you less productive.
[Source: Gadget Hacks]