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Google Drive Security Update: Some Link Sharing Impacted - Mon., 9/13

July 23, 2021

On Monday, September 13, 2021, Google is applying a security update in Google Drive to make sharing links more secure. This update will change links (URLs) used for some Drive files shared in 2017 and prior (e.g., Microsoft Word, PDF, and other non-Google files). Individuals may be impacted when trying to view these files on websites (public or internal) or posted elsewhere.

On July 26, 2021, Google will send direct email notifications to members of the campus community who own or manage files impacted by this security update. The email will provide instructions on steps to take and will include a link to view a list of impacted files you own or manage in Google Drive (My Drive/Shared Drive).

What's the impact?

If you stored and shared non-Google files in Google Drive before 2017, collaborators with whom you shared these files will be presented with a page to request access (if they haven't accessed the file before). The owner (My Drive) or manager (Shared Drive) of the file will get an email asking for approval. To reduce the number of access requests, we recommend that you update links (URLs) you have distributed on websites or posted elsewhere.

What files are affected?

Only non-Google files (e.g., Microsoft Word, PDFs) shared prior to 2017 are affected by this security update. Google files (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms) will not be impacted. If applicable to you, the email from Google will include a link to view a list of impacted files in Google Drive (My Drive/Shared Drive).

What steps do I need to take?

We recommend that you follow the instructions to view and take action on your affected Google Drive files. You will need to share a new updated link (URL) for any of the files that still need to be accessible with a link, on websites, or posted elsewhere. Only UMass Amherst Google users with impacted files will receive an email from Google.

A banner in Google Drive (web) will also notify users of the security update.

Many thanks to the University of Alberta whose content served as the basis for this announcement.