Google Drive is a great place to store and organize your files and shared documents. It seamlessly integrates with the most popular email service and Google's very own Gmail. However, we all want to be confident that our documents and other information are secure with Google Drive. A company such as Google has so much of its reputation riding on security that they invest millions of dollars to ensure their products and services are secure for users. Institutions around the world have accredited Google Drive as a safe cloud storage solution.
Ways Google Drive Secures Your Data
Google Drive isn't a bulletproof cloud storage, and Google Drive users have been previously hacked. Since then, Google has invested heavily in further securing the service, and despite previous hacks, the risk of using Google Drive is relatively low.
Google employs state-of-the-art AES 256-bit encryption on all its Google Drive servers. However, a small number of storage devices dating before 2015 use AES 128-bit encryption. Although that's an old encryption standard and is not as secure as 256-bit encryption, it does secure your data. When you're backing up or accessing data stored on Google Drive servers, Google secures your data in transit with TLS protocol. The protocol protects your data from being intercepted by intruders.
Ways Google Drive is Vulnerable
Google Drive is vulnerable if the encryption keys there to secure your files end up in the wrong hands and get decrypted. This will most likely be an inside job and enable the hacker to decrypt files, bypassing all security measures that have been put in place. Google is the ultimate authority that holds the decryption keys of data that they have encrypted. Simultaneously, apps such as Signal don't possess decryption keys, meaning they can't access your data.
Additionally, Google has to comply with local government regulations. If law enforcement or a court demands data of a particular individual, Google might end up giving the user's private data in fear of facing penalties.
How to Secure Your Google Drive
Humans are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, meaning the risk to your Google Drive data is often you. You should be aware of the devices you've logged in with your Google account. If you're signed in on multiple devices and someone else also has access to that particular device, you're at grave risk. In addition, you should remove apps or browser extensions that have access to your Google Drive. Giving such apps and extensions unrestricted permission to your Google Drive is like inviting hackers and a significant security vulnerability. You must use:
To protect your account, Google strongly recommends the following:
Do a Security Checkup
Update your software
Keep unique, strong passwords
Remove access to unnecessary apps & browser extensions
Protect against suspicious messages & content
Google Drive Privacy Issues
Google is known to sell your data to advertisers, who then manipulate or influence your purchasing decisions. By backing up your data to Google Drive, Google ultimately gains control of that data.
Google Photos is a classic example where Google uses machine learning to understand human emotions, identify people in a photo, extrapolate lighting data, geographically pinpoint places, and so much more. All this data is analyzed to make the user experience better by providing suggestions and improving Google's camera capabilities.
The search engine giant doesn't allow users to restrict their backup data to a particular geographical location. As a user, you have no idea where your data is being stored on the server and in which country. If it's in a data center in the US, law enforcement or surveillance agencies can request access to your data.
Moreover, each file stored on Google Drive has a unique link that can then be shared with other users, and that's where privacy concerns arise. You may unintentionally share a file with the wrong recipient. Although Google allows you the option to revoke your shared files, the damage may already be done.
Improve the Privacy & Security of Your Google Drive
Having an encrypted online connection when backing up and accessing data stored on your Google Drive improves security and privacy. Connect to a password-protected secure WiFi network, don't use public WiFi. Even home private networks aren't secure unless you've got encryption in place. Although Google uses encryption to backup and retrieve your data, having an additional encryption source makes your connection bulletproof. You can use a VPN on your devices. PureVPN employs state-of-the-art AES 256-bit encryption for optimal online privacy and security.