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How secure is Google Drive?

Mar 12, 2020 · 3 min read

How secure is Google Drive?

For millions, Google Drive is an essential part of their daily work routine. It’s convenient, fast, free, and you have all the tools you need in one place. But is there another price you might be paying? How secure is Google Drive and how does it affect your privacy?

Google Drive encryption

Google Drive is an online file synchronization and storage service. It allows users to upload their files to Google servers, store them online and share with others. Its online nature makes encryption in transit and at rest crucial.

Google Drive uses stronger 256-bit encryption for files in transit and 128-bit for stored files. This is because your data is more vulnerable while uploading, downloading and accessing it online. Both types of encryption are strong, and hackers will find it difficult to access any intercepted files. Moreover, Google also adds an additional layer of encryption by encrypting its keys, which makes it even more challenging to penetrate.

How secure is Google Drive?

While Google Drive security looks good on paper, there are a few issues to consider:

  • Google’s business model depends on gathering other people’s data. So you cannot expect privacy here;
  • Google suffered various data breaches in the past, and there is no guarantee that there will be none in the future;
  • Google owns all the decryption keys, which enable it to access your data. Google decrypts and re-encrypts the files once it reaches Google Drive. It is not encrypted for a very brief moment, potentially leaving it vulnerable in case of leakage. So, you have little control over the encryption process taking place when your file enters the Google system.

Is Google Drive private?

Google Drive is fairly secure, but not private at all. The tech giant accumulates massive amounts of information and can pass it to third-parties or use it for ad targeting purposes.

Your Google Drive documents are no exception to this rule. Google employees can access them without your knowledge. We recommend using the methods described below, especially if you're storing really sensitive data.

How to make Google Drive more secure

One great way to keep Google Drive secure and private is by encrypting files independently. We recommend using NordLocker to encrypt and safeguard your files with top-notch cryptography. Neither Google employees nor hackers will be able to access your encrypted data as only you will have the decryption keys.

Apart from locking your files, you should also consider the following security options:

  • Use two-factor authentication to login;
  • Use strong passwords for your Google account. You can use NordPass to create and use strong and secure passwords you don’t have to remember;
  • If the data is especially sensitive, do not store it in Google Drive;
  • Don’t let people you don’t know access your Google Drive;
  • Use a VPN to protect your traffic, especially when your files are in transit. A VPN encrypts your traffic so snoopers can’t intercept it.

For more privacy-focused cloud storage options, check out this list. If you want to de-Google your life completely, have a look at this article for some Google alternatives.

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Paul Black
Paul Black successBekræftet forfatter

Paul er en teknologi- og kunstentusiast, der altid er ivrig efter at udforske de mest opdaterede spørgsmål inden for cybersikkerhed og internetfrihed. Han er altid på jagt efter nye og uudforskede vinkler at dele med sine læsere.


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