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Google Drive Security Update - See Who Has Access to Your Files

There is a new Google Drive security update that you may have seen a pop up notification for in your personal or work Drive account. The update affects documents you have shared through a link, where anyone can view the document if they have the link (not just the person you sent the link to). This is the option (shown below) that says “Anyone on the internet with this link can view” when you go to share a document with someone. This is also known as a “public” link.

While you may think these links are secure in that unless the person you shared the link with shares the link with someone else, no one can get into the document, there have been instances where unrelated anonymous people have gotten access to files by guessing the link. To combat the problem and make the links more secure, Google is adding a resource key to all shared links. 

This means that some of the links you’ve shared with people that were “public” will now no longer work. However, if the people you’ve shared the link with have already opened the document through that link before September 13, when the change takes effect, the link will still work for them. 

You can see which of your files will be affected by this change by going to https://drive.google.com/drive/update-drives

You may notice, like I did, that there are a lot of files that you have shared with others through public links. Chances are, you will see files that shouldn’t be shared with the public and want to change the permissions on them. While this update allows us to review the documents that pose the biggest security risks, there are ways to easily review and change the permissions of our documents at any time by using General Audit Tool (GAT) security features. 

GAT is an application that provides audit and security tools for Google Workspace users. A GAT feature I like using to monitor LogicWing’s documents is the ability to view the permissions of all my Google Drive files and see who was the last person to make a change to a document. If I don’t want someone to have access to a document anymore or want to change access permissions for the whole document, then I can do that right through the GAT website. 

You can learn more about GAT and schedule a demo of the product on our website here

- Blanca E. Duarte, Chief Enablement Officer, LogicWing

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