Google Drive is one of the most powerful online real time collaboration platforms which allows users to manage projects and presentations along with the team members. Google drive has so many beneficial aspects which can provide a versatile experience to the users.
Although, google drive is more popular as an online cloud storage service. People all over the world, who own google accounts to manage their daily online activities, are more likely to store their necessary files and folders in google drive.
But google drive has a lot more advantages that remain underneath its storage service. Especially those who use it for collaborative works are concerned about its beneficial sides as they need to be.
There are so many users who used to store important documents in gdrive. In some cases, those documents may contain credit card numbers, login passwords, and so on. Therefore, they have to make it secure for themselves.
Though, google drive is almost a secure platform instead of some situations which can ruin your day by letting your information go to the hacker’s hand. In this article, we are going to talk about those possibilities which seem like threats for your google drive and also inform you of the ways that you can take to prevent these harms.
What activities could threaten your Google Drive?
Since, everyone using google drive to store personal images, videos, information and resources, they must be aware of such activities which could seem a threat to gdrive. Most people don’t know about these facts and they keep it that way.
To ensure the safe usage of your google drive, you must be aware of these activities here below,
Sharing google account
As we know that, google account name and password are the keys to thrust into anyone’s personal google systems. That means, if you provide your Google account password to allow them to enter into your account, they can easily access your google photos, google drive, and others.
As your google has not any face recognition security system to verify its users, anyone can spontaneously access it when they have your google account password. In such a situation, the person, if he has any harmful mind, then they will be gratified without even noticing you.
Therefore, don’t ever share your Google account password with anyone. If you do so, they can see what you have saved in your google drive and also your google photos.
Google Drive allows us to share any files through the custom link it provides us. We need to share files in order to collaborate or share resources with our friends and mates. However, Google Drive makes sharing so easy and flexible.
But you have to be concerned while sharing your google drive file because it can be a gateway to give access to hackers on your google drive. How could it happen?
Well, when you share any drive file through the custom link if you don’t set access level, then an unknown person also accesses that file. Since, you won’t notice who and when enter the drive file, if the link is open to a social media community, then all the members of the community can access it until you manually close the access.
It can be a big threat to the security of your drive because if anyone has a bad intention, they can deploy a virus in that folder. As a result, the virus can take over the entire part of your drive.
Therefore, before sharing any driving file, you have to set the access level, activity status and check every day if any unwanted person enters the file.
Unrecognizable third-party integrations
Unrecognizable third-party integrations can also be a threat to your google drive. Google drive supports installing third party integrations to make your gdrive journey more fruitful. But these third party integrations aren’t so trusted because these changes authority hands over time.
Once you have installed it as an integration, later it could turn to a fishing site through which hackers can attack your drive and take any profitable information you store to it. This is why you should always check for those third party integrations if any of them is unrecognizable or have changed their activity over time.
How to lock or protect google docs with encryption?
We all know what encryption is and how it works. Well if you aren’t concerned about this, encryption is a process of encrypting or converting information or data into code. The reason behind encryption is to prevent unauthorized access to that resource.
If any of your encrypted data gets in the wrong hand, the receivers won’t allow understanding as it is encrypted with code.
However, the correlation between google docs and encryption is, you can keep your google drive files safe by encrypting them from prying eyes. It is the best way to keep your data apart from theft and leak.
Since there is still no password protection has been launched yet by the google authority for google drive, the encryption method will help you in this regard.
However, if you are a hard gdrive user and use it for various purposes, then you should use the encryption function to keep your gdrive files safe and secure. Encryption will keep your file safe from potential phishing attacks and also malware and ransomware attacks.
So, here are the ways to encrypt your google docs file, follow these options to encrypt your google docs files.
Encrypt docs before uploading
It is said that files uploaded on the cloud storage are quite safe until the cloud server isn’t fallen prey to the attackers. If such a thing happens, then the files you store on your drive can easily be taken out by hackers.
In 2018, google drive server information was leaked by the Russian search engine Yandex. Therefore, you can’t take it easy. But what if the server got hacked, your important files were claimed by the hackers and they can’t open the file anymore?
It will be done by encrypting your important documents outside of google drive and in this way, the documents will be safe even from the google developers as well. This type of encryption will leave an extra layer of security on your documents and will make it tough for anyone who doesn’t know the password of your encrypted files.
When you lock documents through this type of encryption, you won’t be able to edit your documents online and directly from the drive. You have to download the file before editing.
Although there are such browser extensions that could be used to keep safe that isn’t complete protection. Because there are chances to monitor your secret information by the extension developers. We have already discussed third party integrations and why they are not almost safe.
Encrypt using Microsoft word
There are so many options to encrypt your documents with a password. Using Microsoft is the most common and easiest way to do it. Microsoft has its built-in encryption function through which you can encrypt any of your documents.
Once you encrypt your document and upload it to your google drive, google won’t be able to read the file. But here is a limitation that you can’t open the file which is encrypted with Microsoft. For further edit, you have to download and open the file with Microsoft Word.
To encrypt with Microsoft Word, open the document, go to File > protect document > encrypt with the password, then choose a password that you can remember. if you can’t remember the password, then you can preserve it with an extra word file or you can also use a password manager.
Encrypt with Boxcryptor
Boxcryptor is a good option for non-office users, which means, you don’t need to use Microsoft word exceptionally. Boxcryptor comes as a cloud storage interface that is similar to google drive, DropBox, and others.
It also has a cloud syncing program that needs to be installed on your PC. To use Boxcryptor, you have to install it first. Then you have to install google drive in the Boxcryptors setting, then access Boxcryptor from windows explorer sidebars.
Access your drive file through Boxcryptor and select a file to encrypt, right-click on the file > choose Boxcryptor > encrypt option and you will see the checkbox will turn into green.
Once you have done so, the files are secure and no one can access them without installing Boxcryptor and log in with your account.
However, Boxcryptor also offers multiple services including syncing cloud storage service between two PCs. but you have to afford its paid version to use those services for $48 per year.
Encrypt with google drive add on
Although, google drive has some add to encrypt document files that contain sensitive data. It is the easiest way to encrypt your drive files but as we have mentioned before, these third party add ons change ownership over time. Therefore, once it was what it can be changed to phishing or malware.
However, there are so many add ons in the google drive add ons store and you can install any of them to securely store your files. For instance, secure file encryption add on provides bank-grade AES256 encryption to protect your Google Docs files stored on Google Drive.
This add-on ensures no unencrypted data ever leaves your own computer. This add-on uses great browser support from Google Chrome to encrypt your Google Docs files on the fly as they are uploaded to Google Drive and decrypt them during download. There are no size limits to the Google Docs files you can upload.
How to password protect google sheet?
Google sheet is a similar product to Microsoft spreadsheet which is another popular software like Microsoft word. Since google docs are compatible with Microsoft word, google sheet is the same as a spreadsheet in this regard.
If you are a busy data analyst and have to play with huge data and compile in the most compatible form, then you are knowing the importance of spreadsheets or google sheets. If you used to store google sheet files in your google drive, then you have to ensure that your files are safe and secure.
You can use Microsoft encryption to password protect your spreadsheet files or other encryption software’s integrations and built-in add on features for this.
Finally, whatever says others that google drive and other online cloud storage are safe. Well I also support this they are safe but they are not secure. However, from the above discussion, we know that google drive files can prey on hackers and malware attacks.
Risks can be caused by your own activity (sharing files) and cost you a higher price by vanishing all of the important files of your drive. Therefore, you should take the necessary steps before getting harmed. By encrypting your drive files with a password, you can give them a layer of protection.