Google Drive (comprised of My Drive and Team Drive) is a secure and reliable, modern digital workplace. It offers effective long-term storage in which to share and collaborate, and protection against security threats such as ransomware and malware. Not only can Google Drive store and keep things safe, it’s also a great place to create and share content: from documents in Google Docs, presentations in Google Slides, spreadsheets in Google Sheets and surveys in Google Forms, Google Drive is a state-of-the-art collaboration tool in which to work.

Protection against ransomware

File security is crucial. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides and other files in Google Drive are encrypted and stored securely in Google’s cloud to protect against threats of harmful software, including viruses and ransomware. Editing is done through a web browser, which means files do not need to be stored locally on the computer. That’s why every file in Drive stays safe no matter what happens to your smartphone, tablet or computer. Learn more about Google’s commitment to security and encryption.

Long-term storage solution

Work without limits. Google Drive offers unlimited storage at no charge for G Suite for Education, there is no more worrying about how much space you have left for photos, videos, presentations, PDFs – even Microsoft Office files. Files in Drive can be accessed from any device and are private until you decide to share them with colleagues or team members. Now with Google Team Drives, a new Drive feature designed for how teams work, you can setup easy-to-manage shared spaces and collaboration for teams. If members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.

See how Google Drive compares among other common cloud storage solutions:

The above rates and plan options are current as of September 1, 2017 and are subject to change.

Ready to dive in? Get started with Google Drive:

For more information, refer to the FAQs below. Additionally, for self-paced interactive coaching and walkthroughs you can install the G Suite Training Chrome extension, or for hands-on G suite training contact the Technology Training Centre.

FAQs

What can I store on Google Drive?
What should I not store on Google Drive?
How does Google Drive protect against ransomware and other harmful software?
How can I best manage information (for Faculty or Department users)?
How is Google Drive affected while travelling?

What can I store on Google Drive?
Users can upload many different types of files such as photos, designs, drawings, recordings, videos and more. Drive can be used to store files for class and collaborative group projects, work or research.

What should I not store on Google Drive?
Any type of file containing identifiable patient and health care information is NOT to be stored on Google Drive. It is highly recommended to avoid storing files that contain SIN numbers (social insurance numbers) where possible. For more about safeguarding the University’s information, see https://www.ualberta.ca/chief-information-security-officer.

How does Google Drive protect against ransomware and other harmful software?
Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and other files types (Microsoft Word, PDFs, images and more) are encrypted and stored securely in Google’s cloud infrastructure:

  • Editing is done through a web browser, which means files do not need to be stored locally on a potentially vulnerable computer.
  • When using the Google Backup and Sync application, affected Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files will not sync back to the Google Drive in the cloud from the local computer.
  • Other file types can also be recovered from a previous “non-infected” version by using the ‘Managed Versions’ feature in Google Drive.

How can I best manage information (for Faculty or Department users)?
When working with file storage solutions (e.g. department file server, shared drives, cloud storage), the solution or technology alone does not improve a team’s ability to work effectively with the stored data or information.

To help your team manage information, consideration needs to be given to how the information is named, organized and stored. The University Records Office has developed a simple approach to help you manage your information with file storage solutions. This approach will also help meet obligations to protect, retain, and preserve/destroy information under University policies and legislation.

Damian Hollow and Jay Jorgensen from the University Records Office will be happy to meet with you and discuss how to best manage faculty/department information with your current file storage solution.

Managing Information One Pager - University Records Office

How is Google Drive affected while travelling?
Google restricts access to some of its business services in certain countries or regions at the request of the country’s governing body. If you are experiencing difficulty connecting to Google, a VPN is your best solution for access. Access step-by-step instructions for setting up a VPN on ualberta.ca/ist. It is recommended to install and test your VPN prior to leaving on your trip. For more tips on travelling with technology, see Travel Tips at https://www.ualberta.ca/chief-information-security-officer/travel-tips.

Visit ualberta.ca/ist for more information on the G Suite, G Suite Training and IST’s Between U and G series where we dive into Google’s best and little-known features.

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