Google gives people who use G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, or Nonprofit editions two distinct kinds of Google Drive storage: My Drive and Team Drives. Both serve as a reliable spot to store, organize, and share files. Yet, there’s one major difference between the 2: When you add a file to a Team Drive, all members of the Team Drive get access to the file, but when you add a file to My Drive, your file remains private by default.
Google also gives G Suite administrators the ability to adjust the default file access and sharing settings for Google Drive and Team Drives. Most G Suite administrators review and configure Google Drive settings throughout the initial G Suite deployment, but Google recently added more settings in mid-2018 to assist secure Team Drive data.
Assess the following settings to control, protect, and monitor your organization’s Team Drives. You’ll need a G Suite administrator make up your business to gain access to Admin console settings.
Manage Team Drives – n many cases, your organization’s default Google Drive sharing settings also work as the default Team Drive sharing settings. Sign into the G Suite admin console (at admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing Settings. Review these setting to ensure that external sharing is either allowed or restricted appropriately.
Immediately underneath the Sharing settings section, you’ll see Team Drive creation controls. Each one of these five options prevents an alternative action. Any selection made here relates to Each of the organization’s Team Drives. For instance, a G Suite administrator at an organization especially worried about security could select all five of such options, which will bring about g suite access being restricted solely to people within an organization, along with only individuals a Team Drive having the ability to access files on that Team Drive. This kind of configuration would also constrain downloading, copying, and printing of files through the Team Drive.
A much more frequently-used configuration could be to check only the “Prevent full-access members from modifying Team Drive settings” option. This makes sure that a G Suite administrator can select the sharing, membership, and content action options allowed (i.e., access to download, copy, or print) for each Team Drive, minus the risk that the full-access member might modify these settings.
Screenshot of G Suite Admin console Manage Team Drives options (with sharing, membership, and content action options shown)
Review and manage Team Drive sharing and content action settings for any of your organization’s Team Drives.
Protect Team Drive content – A G Suite administrator could also review and adjust membership, sharing, and content action settings for those Team Drives. Again, login for the Admin console (admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Team Drive > Manage Team Drives.
Screenshots of Team Drive sharing options – left shows items struggling to be modified; right show items able to be changed.
A G Suite administrator can restrict many Team Drive sharing, membership, and content actions (as shown on the left). More permissive options allow Team Drive members to discuss externally, add members, or copy, download, and baysuv files (as shown on the right).
As these settings pertain to each Team Drive, it is possible to configure very flexible and open options that permit external sharing and content actions for a few Team Drives, while choosing a lot more locked-down options that prohibit external sharing and content actions for other Team Drives.
Importantly, provided that a G Suite administrator doesn’t prohibit it, people in a Team Drive who have full-access permissions may adjust Team Drive settings.
Monitor Team Drive changes – G Suite also gives administrators the opportunity to review Team Drive changes. Sign in to the Admin console, go to Reports > Audit > Drive > then look for that Item Type filter (inside the column on the left) and select “Team Drive” from the options. Go to the bottom of the column, then select “Search” to use the filter. You’ll then view a report of Team Drive administrative activity to your organization.
You could add additional filters for this report, too. As an example, along with selecting “Team Drive” items, you can also look for the “Item Visibility Change” option, and choose “Internal to External,” then select Search. This displays a written report of Team Drive items now available to people outside the organization, that had been previously only accessible internally.
Your feelings on Team Drive? If you are using Team Drives for files at your organization, what settings can you use generally? If you’re a G Suite administrator, have you ever restricted any Team Drive settings – or can you allow most actions?