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How to hide emails on a shared smartphone?


Date: 26 Apr 2016   Posted By: Vandana     Group: Opinion About    Category: Electronic Items   

My cousin bought a new smartphone, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3. He would like to share it with his sister so that when there is a problem with their PC, she can also check her emails & use it otherwise too (such as for taking photos). However, he naturally does not want her to see his emails.

The problem is this: when he taps on the Gmail icon on his homescreen, it immediately shows the emails in his in-box (this even when he is not online, not using the Net package of his mobile service provider).
Is it possible to ensure that when that Gmail icon is tapped, nothing of his account shows up?
If so, what exactly should he do? Anything to do with syncing the smartphone with the account?
If so, how to 'un-sync' it? That way, either he or his sister can then have to sign in to access their respective accounts and neither will see each other's mails via that icon. The same with Google Hangouts. That too would be visible on tapping its icon.

Can you provide step by step guidance so that he can understand easily what needs to be done? I will give him the URL of this Ask Expert page to follow.
Awaiting advice.


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Author: Gypsy    01 May 2016      Member Level: Platinum     Points : 6  (Rs 6)    Voting Score: 0

Don't have any idea about the settings of Redmi Note 3, but I will explain what can be done in general with any smartphone.

De-syncing the phone cannot solve your cousin's problem. If he de-syncs the phone then he may not get any update about any new mail etc, assuming he has more than one mail account, when a new message comes in.

For keeping the mails private:- Create a new mail-ID. Do not add it to the accounts in the phone settings. Download a browser if not already there. Open the new mail-ID in the incognito window of the browser. log in. Do not check the 'remember me box'. Access those special mails in the incognito window of the browser. Do not forget to log out if the browser does not automatically log you out. You are done. Nobody except a very highly trained & an exceptionally knowledgeable person can find out what you have done as no record is saved when one browses in an incognito window.

The same thing (opening the mail in incognito mode) can be done on a computer too. The only thing one should be cautious about is to turn off the desktop notification for that particular mail account.

About the photos:- For keeping the photos away from prying eyes, a minimum of two mail IDs are needed. One mail-ID in the phone's account (say #1) and the other in the incognito window of the browser (say #2). Open the mail associated with the phone's account (no. #1). Compose a mail and attach the photos to it. Send it to the mail_ID (no. #2) created for hanky-panky things. Open the mail_ID no. #2 in the incognito window of the browser. Check the receipt of the photos in it. After confirmation of the receipt of photos in the mail_ID no. #2 in the incognito window of the browser, delete the sent mail from the mail_ID no. # 1. Delete it from the trash folder of the mail_ID no. # 1 too. Also delete the photos from the folder where they are stored on the phone ( most probably in the Gallery). Now the photos are attached to the mail_ID no. # 2 which is not attached to the accounts of the phone. The photos are now accessible only when the mail_ID no. # 2 is accessed. Do not forget to clear the RAM memory.

A word of caution:- transferring the photos from mail_ID no. #1 to mail_ID no. #2 can be a costly affair and its speed will depend on the package, if using mobile data or net package. Use the option of size reduction, if the exact size is not needed. It will reduce the cost.

Never used Hangouts on phone, so can't say anything about it, but a similar try can be made for it, I guess.


Author: Mahesh    07 May 2016      Member Level: Gold     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Removing the email from the base google account is the only option on android. Any other option becomes too hard to manage.

In your Redmi Phone you have to go to the settings > Email accounts. Here you can remove the base Google account. And then replace it with another email.

If you want to do this for entire phone, you can go to Google settings > Add new email account. And here add new email which you don't mind being used for sharing. And from same process you can remove the earlier email ID as well.

The reason other methods don't be much of use is because they can be bypassed. So removing the email from base account and replacing with new is the only option that works.





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