You must have heard people around you talking about Google Drive, Google's cloud storage service, or you are one of 800 million users who store their passwords, photos, videos, documents, and other important files on its servers already. However, it would be very naïve to expect that all users are familiar with Google Drive when there are so many other top-notch cloud storage and file-sharing services available. If the combination of two words – Google Drive – does not say much to you too, catch a brief explanation.
The most basic way to describe this service is to say that it is an online cabinet where thousands of private files, including passwords, can be stored beyond the physical drive's limits. By uploading files to Google Drive, users free up a considerable amount of disk space, but it is not the only reason it is the primary choice of 17.2% of all users using cloud services. It has turned out that a bunch of people using this service have consciously chosen it over similar cloud-based services due to such useful tools as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides it encompasses. In other words, it is not just a place to store things; it is a place to create things too. Another good thing about Google Drive is that it can be easily reached from several different devices, including tablets, smartphones, and computers, which means that uploaded files can be accessed and even shared with other people with a few clicks from anywhere in the world. Not bad, huh?
Google Drive can do more than store stuff. Check out these tools for automatic backup, easy file sharing, collaboration, encryption, music, and more. Well, I use Google Keep (with Google Drive) to store the ones that are big hits in our family, usually with my own notes on modifications. Notes in Evernote are stored in notebook stacks. In Google Keep, it’s more like post-it notes that can be color-coded with keyword tags added to them. Safely store and share your photos, videos, files and more in the cloud. Your first 15 GB of storage are free with a Google account.
Google Drive has been developed to provide the highest security and privacy possible, but even the most experienced specialists working at Google cannot eliminate the biggest security flaw: the human error. In other words, careless users' actions and habits, for instance, sharing Google account password with random people might lead straight to security and privacy-related problems no matter how hard Google tries to provide its users with top-notch protection; so, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that those personal files you have uploaded are 100% safe.
Google Drive is one of Google services, as you are probably aware. It means that it is tied to your Google account. If you do not keep your Google password safe and your account gets hacked, cyber criminals could access files uploaded to Google Drive easily too. To put it another way, your files on Google Drive are safe as long as your Google Account is secure. Keeping Google account password safe means that you cannot leave it lying around written on a piece of paper because it is only a question of time when unauthorized people will get their hands on it. Of course, we do not expect you to memorize all your passwords and logins (to our surprise, an average person has 90 online accounts), but, instead, we highly recommend that you use a trusted password manager like Cyclonis Password Manager to keep your Google password safe. Unlike ordinary password managers, Cyclonis encrypts passwords using AES-256 and keeps them all in a secure vault, making it impossible for cyber criminals to access them. You will not need to enter your password each time you log into your account too because the password manager will do it for you.
It is not the best idea to keep sensitive data like passwords on Google Drive also because you are always logged in to your Google account on at least one of your devices, e.g. your computer or your phone. In case one of the devices used is lost of left unattended, it will be very easy for someone else to access those personal files uploaded to Google Drive no matter how hard you try to hide them from prying eyes. Unauthorized people could access other services (e.g. YouTube) you log into using your Google account credentials without difficulty as well.
Files uploaded to Google Drive should stay secure if your Google password is safe and hackers cannot log into your account, so the first thing you should do after you read this article is set a secure password to make your account hack-proof. A secure password consists of no less than 14 characters with a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters plus numbers, symbols, and special characters. A secure password can be generated with a trusted password manager like Cyclonis, so you do not need to invent one yourself. Strong passwords are usually hard to remember, but it is not a problem for those who use password managers.
As the May 2017 scam that involved millions of Google Drive users has shown, cyber criminals still actively use social engineering attacks to hack people's accounts, so do not fall prey to new phishing scams that are expected to rocket in 2018. Since Google accounts are still on hackers' hit list, it would be a pure lie if we told you that you could ensure 100% safety of your passwords by keeping them uploaded on Google Drive.
There is one more thing you need to take into consideration before uploading your passwords to Google Drive. By uploading any files, you will automatically give Google permission to scan and analyze uploaded data. Additionally, according to terms of service, you will give Google “a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works” from uploaded data if you use any Google services. A preceding line says: “You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.” It means that Google will not claim ownership of uploaded data, which is, undoubtedly, good news, but you still cannot ignore one simple truth: data uploaded to Google Drive is, technically, no longer completely private.
Google Drive is not the best choice for storing sensitive data even if you keep your Google account password safe and take all possible security measures to prevent it from being hacked; however, if you insist on using Google Drive, and there is nothing we can do to change your opinion, you should at least upload your sensitive data, e.g. passwords encrypted. This way, cyber criminals could not access any of your uploaded passwords even if they successfully hack your account. Additionally, it would be a smart security move to enable 2-Step Verification for your Google account, i.e. add an additional security layer to keep uploaded passwords safe and bad guys out. Many consider it a hassle, but it is worth extra effort for sure since so many passwords are stolen easily these days.
Google Drive is an online storage solution by Google. It allows you to store and sync data across your devices with its 15 GB of free storage space, while its integration with Google Docs for Mac gives your friends or coworkers access to the files or folders you designate for sharing.
There’s an official Google Drive app for Mac too — an upgraded 2017 version of which is called Backup & Sync and is sometimes referred to as the new Google Drive. Google Drive Backup and Sync download is free and you can expect to install it and have it running in no time and little effort.
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With Google Drive, you can create and edit documents online. But if you rely on Drive for files backup and sync, it’s much more convenient to use the app. To start using Google Drive on Mac, the first thing you need is a Google Drive account.
If you have an account on any of Google services, like Gmail, YouTube, or Google Play, then you actually already have a Google Drive account.
Simply log in to a Google Drive website or app with your existing credentials. Or create a Google account for free by following these steps:
Go to google.com/drive and click on the blue Go to Google Drive button
Click Create Account
Follow the onscreen instructions to create a new Google account (this will also serve as your new Gmail email address)
Once you have a Google account, you can download Google Drive for Mac and use it. Here’s how you can do the Google Backup and Sync download:
Go to google.com/drive and click Download near the top of the page
Click on the Download button under Backup and Sync
Read and agree to the terms of service to start the download of Google Drive for Mac
The Google Drive Installer will be downloaded to your Mac’s Downloads folder How to run driver verifier.
When the download is complete, double-click the installer (the file is called InstallBackupAndSync.dmg). Then click and drag the Backup and Sync From Google icon to the Applications folder. Boom, done!
The first time you open Google Drive on Mac, you have to go through a few steps to get it set up properly. After that accessing Google Drive will be effortless. But to get things up and running:
Launch Google Drive from the Applications folder by clicking on Backup and Sync From Google
A warning sign will appear cautioning that Google Drive is an application you downloaded from the internet ➙ click Open
On the welcome to Google Drive window that appears click Get Started
Sign in to your Google account with your Gmail email address and password
The Google Drive Installer will display a number of tips about using the app and then add a special Google Drive folder to your Home directory on Mac ➙ click Next
You can designate items in your Google Drive folder to be shared with anyone ➙ click Next ➙ Done
The installer will finish by adding a Google Drive menu bar icon and a Google Drive sidebar icon to the Finder. This sets up the two key elements for you to work with Google Drive for Mac: Google Drive folder and Google Drive menu bar icon.
Most of the time you’ll use the Google Drive folder — to store items you want to save to the Google cloud as well as share with others. Google Drive menu bar icon is handy for quick access and configuring Google Drive settings.
The menu bar Google Drive icon gives you quick access to the Google Drive folder on your Mac, opens Google Drive in your browser, displays recent documents that you have added or updated, and tells you if the Google Drive sync has completed. But more importantly, the menu bar icon contains additional Google Drive settings. To set up Google Drive to your liking:
Click on the Google Drive icon in the menu bar and a dropdown menu will appear
Click on the vertical ellipsis in the top right corner ➙ choose Preferences from the menu
The Google Drive Preferences menu lets you configure your Google Drive settings with a three-tab interface.
My Mac tab allows you to decide whether you want to keep the default setting and have all the folders in your Google Drive folder synced automatically to the cloud or designate only specific folders for Google Drive sync.
Google Drive tab manages the connection between your Google Drive folder and the cloud. This is where you go in case of Google Drive not syncing. To sync Google Drive folder with the cloud, make sure you’re signed in to your Google account.
Settings tab gives you options to have Google Drive automatically launch when you log in to your Mac, show confirmation messages when shared items are removed from Google Drive, and upgrade your storage to another plan.
Now that your Google Drive setup is complete, you have access to this additional storage for you to do as you wish. However, one of the best uses would be to link your Google Drive to multiple devices — for easy access from all of them.
Also remember that Google Drive lets you create and work with others on documents in Google’s own versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in real-time (called Docs, Sheets, and Slides respectively). To enable collaboration on a Google Docs file, simply tap on Share in the top right corner and enter the names or email addresses of the people you wish to engage.
As convenient as Google Drive is, people often use more than one service for their personal and professional data storage. Some popular alternatives include Apple’s iCloud, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and Dropbox. Using a combination of cloud-based storages increases your Mac’s disk space to being virtually unlimited, as long as you have an active internet connection. But in truth, managing different cloud accounts can turn into quite a hustle.
Luckily, there are apps like CloudMounter that allow you to use all your storage solutions in one place, connecting them to your Mac as if they were your regular external drives.
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This trick lets you deal with cloud data in the same manner as you’d with local one, and even move files between the clouds. Another great benefit of using CloudMounter is the latest encryption algorithm that guarantees the security of your cloud files. Plus, it allows encrypting sensitive data on the cloud and doesn’t share your login info with any third parties.
CloudMounter works perfectly with all major cloud services and could very well become your ultimate cloud manager if you’re constantly dealing with storage issues or feel there’s not enough free space on your Mac’s SSD.
Not even a bit less vital when dealing with loads of data is making sure you have a good backup of the most important files. Get Backup Pro is an elegant backup app just for that.
Get Backup Pro is fast, reliable, and offers a mix of four different backup methods: simple copy, clone, incremental, and versioned. With this app, you can back up folders or files that you think are important, cut the size of archives up to 60% by conducting compressed backups, effortlessly migrate data to a new disk with bootable backups via cloning, and schedule Stealth mode backups — with Get Backup Pro automatically closing once all scheduled processes are finished.
It goes without saying that cloud storage encourages collaboration and file sharing. If you work with different files online and often need to share links, Dropshare should be your app of choice for fast and secure file exchange.
Dropshare is a platform that works brilliantly with your favorite cloud services and lets you upload files in bulk with its easy drag & drop functionality, as well as securely share files, documents, and photos with password-protected expiring download links, and even set your own keyboard shortcuts to complete routine tasks faster.
If you’re still asking yourself how to use Google Backup and Sync — 15 GB of free storage space, excellent collaboration features, and ability to access your files from any of your devices will surely give you lots of ideas on how to make the most of it. With clouds come possibilities, but you‘re the one who really decides what is Google Drive going to be on your Mac.
Best of all, you can find CloudMounter, Get Backup Pro, and Dropshare mentioned above on a free 7-day trial through Setapp, a platform of more than 150 useful Mac utilities that could change the way you work day to day. Ready for action on cloud Google?
Meantime, prepare for all the awesome things you can do with Setapp.Read on