Google Drive is a great cloud storage solution, but can you trust it with your private data?
By Make Use Of
Google Drive is an incredibly useful cloud storage solution that offers numerous features and benefits. With Google Drive, sharing documents and working remotely as a team has never been easier. As part of the Google Suite, Google Drive offers seamless integration with other Google services.
However, there are some security risks associated with using Google Drive that you should be aware of. So why is Google Drive still a security risk? How can your data be compromised through the service?
1. Google Drive Is a Prime Target for Hackers
Google is a massive company that deals with countless confidential data of millions of people. It’s not surprising that Google is a prime target for hackers and cybercriminals.
One of the main reasons why Google is prone to security risks is because Google stores so much connecting data and Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Because users often do not log out of their associated Google account on their browsers, their usage can often be traced back to them even with the use of VPNs.
In addition, Google has access to your emails, files, documents, and more. In some cases, Google Drive users even keep things like bank account details, identification cards, and other sensitive information, which could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Imagine a hacker getting into one Google account: that’s a lot of information for them to use.
2. Google Has a History of Exploited Vulnerabilities
Since its founding in 1998, Google has battled countless dragons before it solidified its kingdom. However, not every enemy was slain without burning a few villages in the process. In Google’s case, the cost of their success includes compromised customer data, which was made vulnerable throughout the years.
In 2010, Google published a blog post addressing a sophisticated hacking attempt by the Chinese government. Supposedly to find information about human rights activists, hackers used phishing attacks to access Google’s servers. Referred to as Operation Aurora, the attack targeted at least 34 other companies, including Adobe, Yahoo, and Morgan Stanley.
According to CNN, nearly 5 million Gmail passwords were also leaked online in 2014. In addition, a bug in the Google+ API, Google accidentally exposed over 52.5 million users’ data in 2018. With this, Google not only has a history of vulnerabilities but also of active exploitation.
3. Google Drive Scams Are Rampant
One of the biggest risks associated with Google Drive is the sheer number of scams which can be carried out on it. There are a number of Google Drive scams that are common, and it is important to be aware of them to protect yourself. These include:
- Leaving comments with phishing links.
- Creating fake Google Drive clone websites.
- Hiding malware in Google Drive files.
So what are each of these scams?