Online File Storage

Published on March 16th, 2013 | by Mark


Google Drive

A file hosting service that forms part of Google’s suite of services that can be accessed using a single Google account.  With Google Drive you have 15GB free storage and there’s the possibility to buy additional storage space.

A Smooth Ride

To use Google’s Drive service, you have to register for a Google account that lets you use all of Google’s services, including Google Drive.

When signing up for your Google account you have to input a password that’s at least 8 characters long.  You can also add in letters, numbers or mixed cases to make your password stronger.  Google provides a password strength indicator, but it simply assesses your password on the basis of its length.  Anything less than 8 characters classifies as ‘weak’ whereas if it’s 8 characters or more it’s ‘strong’.

Drive Safely

You can configure options related to secure access of your account from Google’s central account settings page.  To access this, click on the gear icon at the top-right of the screen and select Settings from the drop-down list.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ to view the options related to your password and two-factor authentication.

You can set up two-factor authentication for your Google Drive account by enabling it from the list of options on the Security page.  To get the security code to access your account you can either have Google send you the code on your mobile phone each time you try to log in or you can generate the code using an app like Google Authenticator for Android, Apple and Blackberry devices that can be downloaded from Google Play or App Store.  If you have a Windows phone, you’ll need to download a compatible third-party app like Authenticator to sign in.

In The Driving Seat

You can access security options for Google Drive by clicking on the gear icon and selecting the Settings page.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ area to access all the security settings for your Google account.  Here you’ll have access to a variety of security and privacy controls that let you manage the safety our data online.

Click on the Security option on the left-hand menu to access the most important security options you need to protect your account including; changing your password, account recovery options, notification of unusual activity, two-step authentication and the possibility to review all the websites and apps that are linked to your Google account.

How Far Will Your Data Go?

According to Google’s privacy policy, personal information from your account can be disclosed to third parties, such as when integrating external apps or services to your Google account to use on Google Drive.  It is up to you to decide whether a site or an app should be trusted with your personal information since Google doesn’t review or endorse other websites.

Driving Off Into The Sunset

Google Drive is an integral part of your Google account and it cannot be removed.  You can choose not to use it at all and delete any data you have stored on it.

If you wish to delete your account entirely, you’ll have to close down your Google account and with it all the associated data in the services that Google provides.  To do this, click on the gear icon at the top-right of any Drive page and click on ‘Settings’.  Click on the link in the ‘Google Account settings’ area and press on the Account link from the left-hand menu.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and under the heading ‘Account Management’ you can find a link to close your Google account and delete all the services and information associated with it.  To proceed with the deletion request, enter your password and press the red ‘Delete Google Account’ button.

Who’s Behind The Wheel?

Google Drive is only a part of Google’s wide ranging portfolio of online services and it has never been specifically targeted by hackers trying to access users’ account. However Google has been heavily under fire by hackers and gaining access to a Google account automatically gives access to all the dependent services, including Google Drive.

A Place For Passengers

You can integrate several third party applications and web services on your Google Drive.  According to its privacy policy, Google does not review or endorse any third party apps or sites and it’s up to you to choose whether to authorise the sharing of your information with these apps or websites.  You can quickly review all the sites and apps that are connected to your Google account from the Google Account settings page.  In the Security section of this page, you can control which applications and websites can access and use details from your Google account including from your Google Drive.

Tracking Your Data

On the Google Accounts settings page you can check the list of authorised applications that are connected to your accounts and revoke access as necessary from the Security section.

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