Google’s G Suite, containing services like Drive, Gmail, and Docs, has over two billion monthly users, making it one of the world’s most widely used cloud platforms. While G Suite is incredibly popular and user-friendly, there are some limitations to its security, particularly when it comes to its Drive solution. So, how secure is Google Drive?
It’s a question businesses must ask, considering that 60% of corporate data is in the cloud. Thus, enterprises must ensure Google Drive’s safety for inter- and intra-organizational file sharing.
Is Google Drive secure for business? Let’s find out.
Is Google Drive Secure for File Sharing?
It is safe to share Google Drive links? Yes, Google Drive is secure. Google uses 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) to ensure the security of your files in transit and at rest.
How Google Drive Secures Your Files and Data
When you upload something to Google Drive, it is automatically encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption. In addition, your files are stored on Google’s secure servers, which are located worldwide.
The Google Account has built-in security features to prevent malware, phishing and spam. Moreover, the platform does not use your personal information for advertising purposes.
Google also regularly collects crash analytics and performance data to improve the user experience. However, this data is anonymous and cannot be linked to any individual user.
How Google Drive Link Sharing Works
When you share a Google Drive link, you control whether people can view, edit, or comment on the file. Plus, you can choose to share the file with specific people or make it viewable to anyone with the link.
Likewise, you can also share a Google Drive link on social media sites like Facebook or by email.
How Secure is Google Drive Link Sharing?
Google Drive link sharing is quite secure unless the sharing or recipient party is negligent.
Inherently, Google Drive link sharing is relatively safe since you can set the permissions for the link. Likewise, you can share the link with specific people to prevent the risk of unauthorised access.
However, there are certain risks associated with any file sharing, Google Drive included. The most notable of these risks is human error, which is responsible for 85% of data breaches.
For instance, if the person you’ve shared the link with accidentally forwards it to someone else, there’s a chance that the link could fall into the wrong hands.
There are also risks associated with using public Wi-Fi to access Google Drive. For example, if you’re not using a VPN, your data could be intercepted by someone on the same network.
Is Google Drive Encrypted?
Yes, Google Drive is encrypted with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Besides in-transit encryption, your data is also encrypted at rest in Google data centers.
What Kind of Encryption Does Google Drive Offer?
Google Drive offers 256-bit AES encryption. However, some pre-2015 storage devices have AES128 encryption.
256-bit AES is a data encryption technique that uses a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data or files. The AES algorithm transmits the ciphertext through a secure channel from the sender to the receiver.
The decryption server on the receiver’s end uses the same 256-bit key to decrypt the ciphertext and convert it back to plaintext.
How to Securely Share Google Drive Links
How secure is Google Docs or Drive? As secure as you choose to make it.
You have two steps to ensure safety when sharing Google Drive links. The first is to use invite-based sharing.
- Choose the file you want to share.
- Click the Share icon in the top-right corner.
- Type the email address of the person you want to share the link with.
- Click the Send button.
The second step is to change the permissions so that only people with your preferred permissions can make changes to the file.
- Click the drop-down menu on the bottom right.
- The setting is ‘Viewer’ by default.
- You can change it to Commenter or Editor if you like.
- Copy the link to the document and share it with whomever you want.
Finally, it’s important to manage access to your shared links. For example, if you’re working on a project with a group, change the access settings after the process ends.
- Choose the file whose access you want to manage.
- Click the ‘Details’ tab.
- Click ‘Manage Access.’
- You can see who has access and what type of access they have.
- Remove people from the list or change their permissions as you prefer.
- Click Save.
Common Link Sharing Mistakes to Avoid While Sharing Google Drive Links
Is Google Drive safe for confidential information? If you’ve wondered about this, you should know about common mistakes people make.
- Not Setting the Right Permissions. Instead of setting permissions for specific people, many people click “anyone with the link can view.” It means that anyone who has the link can access the shared file. While this may be okay for some files, it’s not ideal for confidential information.
- Not Disabling Copying and Printing. If you’re sharing a document, you may not want people to be able to copy and paste it or print it out. You can disable this from the Advanced Settings menu.
- Not Managing Folder Sharing Settings. Many people forget to disallow access to shared folders after a project is over. As a result, people who should no longer have access to the folder can still see it.
Best Google Drive Alternative for Secure File Sharing
If you’re on the search for a Google Drive alternative that’s not only safe but also feature-rich, SecureDocSharing is the best pick. Besides creating secure sharing links, you can do the following:
- Control who can see the file by setting passwords
- Disallow file downloads
- Disallow access whenever you want
- Send encrypted files to ensure their security in transit and at rest
- Get analytics from the recipients’ interaction with the file
- Re-upload new versions
Want to hear the best part? Enterprises can upgrade their plans to include custom workflow automation and unlimited eSignatures.
Secure link sharing is the need of the hour, considering the global cost of data breaches reached $4.35 million in 2022. While Google Drive is a simple and secure way to share links, it lacks the analytics and additional features SecureDocSharing can provide.
Secure your files with SecureDocSharing and track the recipients’ time spent on the file without worrying about a security risk.
Yes, it is secure as it offers multiple security measures to keep your data safe. Besides encryption and secure file storage, you can set permissions to control who has access to your files.
The 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption and Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol help keep your confidential information safe.
Hackers can use Google Drive to transmit malware into your system by tricking you into downloading a seemingly unsuspicious link. Cybercriminals can also phish your personal information by creating a fake Google Drive login page. So is Google Drive secure from hackers? It eventually comes down to how careful you are.