How to Avoid Mail Being Read by Accident in Gmail?

Hi all, we're using Gmail as the shop's email. Since there are few of my colleagues using the email, just wondering is there a way to avoid the email being "read" accidentally by others e.g. from phone notification. We only want email being marked "read" from within Gmail native site or outlook.

Just wanna make sure we don't miss important emails.

Hope this makes sense. Thanks!


  • +9

    Limit access so every man and his dog doesn't have a login to such critical info?

    Company email, even if you have a family business, should only be checked by 1 or 2 people. Namely those with the best written English and the best customer service

    Someone accesses it while drunk, someone gets a written complaint about them… All sorts of trouble that's possible and you'd have no idea

    • actually just 3 of us..but sometimes we marked it as read by opening it by accident on phone.

      • -4

        All 3 of you do that, or is there 1 fat-fingered culprit?

        Simple, use a different method to access.

        Or don't open emails from the status bar.

        But really, you're asking for a solution to stupidity. No one else would access their important work emails in such a way, across multiple devices.

        Use the Outlook app, that way an app notification for Outlook tells you all that it's work email and not personal. Setup a different tone

        • Well, we just small business owners.. So honestly didn't think too much about it before. Just hoping is there a setting in Outlook or other 3rd party client to prevent the email from automatically read if opened in app? Something to do IMAP setting? In shop, we don't mind who's opening the email.

  • +2

    You might want to setup ticketing system.

    You can set your ticketing system to poll the mailbox, and create a ticket for each incoming email. Any of the staff can take ownership of the ticket/reply /resolve/close/escalate/ put comments that only visible internally, etc.. .

    You can create auto reply for each ticket with a ticket number so you can keep track of the issue.

    My recommendation is to use zoho ticket as you can use it for free since you only have 3 agents:

    • See above, but will it overkill for is being a small business?

      • Anything that you can do once and benefits your process over time is absolutely worth it.
        If you only need one queue, no automation, know how to edit DNS you can do the setup & minimal customisation in 1 or 2 hours.

  • +8

    You can mark the email as unread if it has been accidentally read?

    However a ticketing system would be preferred, so your team of 3 can know who has read the email and who has replied. It's definitely not overkill for a small business (even one person shop should use it). Moreover how do you know your team will still be 3 people a year down the track? You might hire more, some people might leave, etc.

  • +3

    Treat everything is your inbox as a to do list. As soon as an email is actioned, delete it or move it to a new folder for future reference.

  • +4

    Perhaps you can use labels?

    • Under Settings > Labels > Create New Label
    • Create a new filter that labels every email as "UNREAD"
    • This will create a folder in your gmail of all new emails
    • To clear it from this list you have to remove the label

    This effectively creates an inbox that has to be "read" to be cleared

  • I'm not sure if GMail lets you do it anymore but if you connect via POP and not IMAP, it doesn't sync changes back to the server. So if someone reads it on their phone, it only shows that it's been read locally (I.e on their phone). Not a great solution however

  • +3

    File any email that's actually been read or has been responded to/actioned - put them into a folder labeled "Completed"

    That way you are only keeping proper unread emails in your inbox

  • Money so tight you can't afford separate free emails?

  • +2

    …is there a way to avoid the email being "read" accidentally by others e.g. from phone notification.

    Turn off Gmail notifications on the phones.
    That way, there are no notifications to "accidently" touch. Someone actually has to open the app to see/read the emails.

  • +1

    I have created many folders to suit and file the read/resolved emails into the appropriate folders accordingly. I leave unresolved emails in the inbox or file them in folders in which I need to follow up on a daily basis. Any emails accidentally read would be left in the inbox and be treated as unread.