The data you store in your Google Drive is private by default until and unless you decide to share it with anyone else. It is your choice to share your personal data with specific people or you can choose to make your documents public and any internet user can view the files you shared.
If you are a Google App user, than you can share the files and folders within the corporation while limiting access to anyone outside the domain.
Along with the control of access, you can also assign the level of access to the users on the shared Google Drive files. By adopting an option “Set The Access Permissions”, you can set the view of a document to either view (read only) or edit (read & write).
For example, if you want to send a large file to any user, upload that file to Google Drive and forward it in view-mode with the recipient.
Who Can View or Edit your Drive Files?
Your Google Drive may have a large collection of your personal documents, spreadsheets that are accessible to other users. These users could be from your contact list, users within your Google Apps domain or anyone from the shared files (public) who have the link (URL) to the file.
You may not know which files are shared with which user or what kind of access permissions that users have on your shared files and folders. Google Drive doesn’t provide an easy option to figure out whom you are sharing the files with (The users can be inside or outside your organization). You never know that!
So, to figure this out, you need to meet Permissions Auditor for Google Drive. This is a new Google add-on feature that scans your entire Drive and then makes a complete report revealing who has access to your shared documents and what kind of access permission they have on your files and folders. But if you have been working with people for some time, then Google Drive Auditor is the easiest way to figure out what you’ve shared in Google Drive.
Here’s a Sample Audit Report (Drive File Privacy Report)
Google Drive – File Permissions Report
→ Follow these easy steps to get File Permissions Report:
Install the Google Drive Auditor add-on and enable it- This is a Google Script that runs inside your Google Account, reads the documents found in your Google Drive and note down their access details in the spreadsheet.
After installing the Google Drive Auditor add-on, just go to the Add-ons menu inside the Google Spreadsheet.
→ Choose Drive Permissions Auditor and select Start Audit (It will display a sidebar where you have to define a query). According to your query, all matching files will be examined by the add-on.
Here are some examples of Google Drive Search queries:
- “me” in owners and trashed = false (all files owned by except those in trash)
- modifiedTime > ‘2016-01-01T12:00:00’ (file modified since Jan 2016 UTC)
- mimeType = ‘application/vnd.google-apps.spreadsheet’ (scan the access permissions of only Google Spreadsheets in your Google Drive)
After the completion of an audit, the report will be revealed with detailed information of each and every file. The report may include:
- When was a document created and last modified
- What is the maximum file size and MIME type (file extension)
- Who is the owner of the file
- Who has an access to edit, view and comment on the file
To directly open the same file in your Google Drive, click on the file name in the spreadsheet. Moreover, you can also make use of the filters in Google Spreadsheets to open the specific files that match a certain criteria. For a reason, if you want to know all your public files ,you can use a filter on the Access column in the spreadsheet.
The Drive Permissions Auditor add-on works for both (Gmail and Google Apps) accounts. Are you a domain administrator? If yes, you can install the Google Drive Auditor add-on for all users in your domain by using Google Apps Marketplace.
Did you know? The add-on is free and lets you audit up to 200 files in your Google Drive.
Here are Some Bonus Tips!
→ If you have a large collection of files in Google drive, upgrade your account to the premium edition and make a record of your every single file and folder in your Google Drive.
→ Did you know? You have an option to set an auto-expiry date for your shared links in Google Drive (that automatically stops working after a certain period of time and date set by you).
I hope you found these tips and insights on Google Drive helpful. The door is open for you too! Do share more tips or facts in the comments.