Privacy Is Up to You!!!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

“Is my Google Drive Private?” The very first file added to drive is the most secure until the sharing starts. What users may need to learn is maintaining the files’ privacy is totally up to them. The first place to start is by familiarizing oneself with the most basic of share settings. Please see my last post for refreshing your knowledge of basic share settings. The best way to secure your Google Drive files and folders is by combining the basics with the following advanced share settings.

Some of the features provided by the advanced settings are the ability to stop other users from re-sharing and printing a file. Another tool offered in Google Drive is the control to set time limits on sharing both folders and files. What does this all mean? Using advanced share tools help prevent sensitive material from being shared with the public. Please see my post: “CONTROL YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE FILES PRIVACY SHARE SETTINGS…” to learn how to use the advanced share setting features.

Think of the My Drive Section of Google Drive as your private area where you are in absolute control of the sharing. The Shared with Me area of Google Drive is a working area where files are shared by another user. Shared with Me portion of Google Drive is not considered as a portion of your storage area. It is a place where you may access and use files and folders shared with you. Generally, I recommend ignoring this area of the drive. Do note it is possible to remove files and folders from this section as well. The bottom line it is up to the user to maintain and keep Google Drive secure and private.

Which “Share Settings Do I Use???”

Due to my volunteer work as a Product Expert in the Google Help communities, I notice many users are confused about the levels of share settings.   Today I’m going to focus on the “Share Settings” found in Google Drive and its Docs Editors (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Drawings).   Following is a list of the share setting terms and how they may help the user maintain privacy.

  1. Private – Only you can access
    • Nobody but you may view, edit, copy or share.
  2. Specific People – Ability to share a file or folder with another user.
    • You choose who and add the user to the file or folder.
  3. On: Anyone with Link – Any user with the web link may access.  
    • It is a public link that allows any user to see or share the file or folder.
    • The weblink prevents web spiders from finding the link in search results.
    • Embedding the link on a website or social media posts may make it searchable via a search engine.
  4. Public on the Web – The file or folder may be accessed anywhere on the web. 
    • The file or folder’s web link is easily categorized by the search engines.

Note: 

A  G Suite account offers an extra layer of sharing.  

The extra share settings are as follows:

  • On Domain Name – Any domain user who has the web link may access the file.
  • Anyone at Domain Name with the link – All users of a domain may use a Google Drive filter search to find and access the file or folder.

The above listing provides a basic selection of share settings Google Accounts offer.  Below I have provided an image tutorial you may print or use as part of an instruction tutorial. Keep an eye open for my next post where I will discuss more advanced share setting offered by Google Drive and its Docs Editors.

Don’t Want to See Google Drive Quick Access? Just Turn It OFF!

In the Google Drive help forum, I noticed a question which asked about turning off Google Drive Quick Access View. What quick access view does is provides a row of the latest edited files. The row sits at the top of the drive. Its purpose is to provide an easy way to find those files a user edits last edited.

How to Turn Off Quick Access

Organize Google Drive Files by Color…

Recently this question has come up quite a bit in the help forums and I wanted to share an easy work-around. One of the beauties for using Google Drive and Docs is the benefit for sharing files and folders digitally. Printing of files is less often used and creating with color is no longer a budgetary concern. This opens doors to other ways of categorizing and organizing ones files.

If a user changes the background of a Google Doc, Slide, Sheet, Drawings or Forms it is easily spotted from within a folder. This means you can have several groups of colleagues or students collaborating within the same folder on different documents focused on  specific content. You can further tweak this method by adding numbers within the doc’s name to represent each color group. An example of this would be to use “00” for representing blue and “01” to represent the yellow group. This method for file organization will work both within Team Drive and Google Drive.

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A Hidden Time Saver

Send an Attachment

It is simple to send an E-mail file attachment from within an opened Google File. This can be looked as one of the many hidden timesaving features built into the Google APPS for Education Accounts. Teachers are always looking for ways to find more time to focus on their students. This little step can save oodles of time from closing out of the file followed by opening Gmail. Then one still would need to go through the actions of composing and attaching or inserting the file from Google drive.

  1. Click file
    1. Then click Email as an attachment
    2. Step 1-3
  2. Click Drop down arrow next to PDF
    1. This will display file types
    2. Step 2-4
    3. Choose a file type
    4. Step 3-3
  3. Time to fill in the text box fields
    1. Step 4-3
    2. Add Email address
    3. Change subject
    4. Type a message
    5. Make sure a check mark appears
      1. This sends a copy to yourself
    6. Click the blue send button