• Blanca E. Duarte

Let Your Google Drive Sharing Settings Expire

In the workplace, very few of us work alone. Whether we collaborate on a document or need approval on work we've done, we are constantly sharing our work via the cloud.

In the last year, Google and many cybersecurity companies have pointed out that sharing documents left and right is a security risk. But after 10+ years of sharing documents, when you start looking through just how many files you've shared with people, the number is overwhelming. I'm talking thousands and thousands of documents. And most of those people you shared that document with do not need access to it anymore. Some of them have changed companies or the project is just over and you're realizing that you're sharing a lot more of your work with a lot more people than you thought.

Going back through your thousands of documents and changing sharing settings sounds like a nightmare. There are some great tools to help you change those sharing settings in bulk (we recommend General Audit Tool and can set up a demo for you). But you're still left with the question of what you do going forward. You still need to share all those documents with your co-worker and that presentation with your client. Do you now have to set aside time once a year to share the sharing settings on all your documents, over and over again, until the end of time? NO, you don't!

You don't have to manually change these sharing settings ever again going forward because Google is allowing you to share documents with an expiration date with one click. Isn't that great? If your project is done in a month, anyone not actively involved in the content creation only gets access to the document for one month. If your boss needs to approve a proposal before it's sent to a client, they only get access for a few weeks. And it's not about trusting your coworkers or not, you can always extend the access if they need more time, it's about what happens to those documents after people have forgotten about them. They might be downloaded on people's home computers or mobile devices. The default is one month from the date you share the files but you can change the date to anytime. Expiration dates allow you to have more control over your files. It's a good practice.

It's going to take some resetting of your brain to get used to setting expiration dates to documents. You can get the word out by asking IT staff to send out an email letting people know that setting expiration dates on sharing settings is a great way to minimize security risk, which helps the entire company. So no hard feelings if your access expires. And no more changing sharing settings in bulk thanks to a little extra work upfront.

This feature is available to Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Plus, Education Standard, and Nonprofits customers.

Learn how to turn on sharing setting expiration dates here.

Blanca E. Duarte, Chief Enablement Officer, LogicWing

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