Are Google Sheets Encrypted?
It’s well-known that Google profits from all the data it accumulates from its users. While that might be the standard practice of today, it still causes some unease amongst users.
Considering that, it’s reasonable to ask if Google products, like Sheets, have encryption and are safe to use.
In this article, we’re going to answer that question and review other ways to keep your spreadsheets protected.
Google Drive Security
Since Google is one of the biggest tech companies in the world, users expect the best security possible. And when it comes to personal and corporate Google Sheet files, it’s first important to understand how Google Drive security works.
That’s because all the spreadsheets are automatically stored in Google Drive. Which means, they’re saved in one of the many servers Google has all over the world.
Here’s the important piece of information to always remember – no data is ever 100% safe. Regardless of how well it’s encrypted and whether it’s on Cloud or in your home computer.
That being said, having the best encryption possible still matters a great deal. So, what kind of encryption does Google Drive have?
They use a 256-bit, which is strong encryption, whenever you’re downloading, uploading, or just viewing what’s saved in Google Drive. When not in use, Google deploys a somewhat less strong, 128-bit encryption.
Why Is There a Difference in the Encryption Strength?
This difference in how secure the encryption is might seem odd on the surface. But to understand why that’s the case, you first have to realize that your data is at risk the most when it’s in transit.
When you’re uploading, downloading, editing, or doing anything with your Google files on the internet, that’s when your files are most vulnerable.
If someone were to hack your files, regardless of what was happening on the public or private network, they’d do it by intercepting them while in motion.
How Does Google Minimize the Risk of Hacking?
Every Google Account holder is aware of how often the company reminds you to increase your security, to create a stronger password, and use a 2-step verification process.
When it comes to Google Drive and all the files stored in the Cloud, they use multiple layers to protect your data.
The secret behind the successful encryption is that they split the data into pieces or chunks. Each piece has no value on its own.
And each piece of data has its own encryption key as well. This way, it’s much harder to hack and use any of the data in transit.
How to Enhance Google Drive Security on Your End
Talking about Google Drive security and how safe your Google Sheets files is in a way one-sided. That’s because all the encryption actually happens on Google’s side, in the servers.
You’re still left with a lack of protection on your side. If you don’t share your devices or your password with anyone, you’re already a lot safer than people who don’t. But there are so many ways someone can gain access to your Google Sheets files.
Unfortunately, G Suite doesn’t provide ready-to-go encryption for your files. To do that, you need to use a third-party app. There are many options on the market, but one of the best and most reliable options is the Boxcryptor.
It’s great encryption software that specializes in securing your Google Drive files and other Cloud-based storage services. They have a free version of single users and non-commercial use, and also an option for businesses.
Once you download and install it on your device, you will easily be able to encrypt any file in your Google Drive. It will only require a right-click on your mouse and choosing Boxcryptor from the menu.
Keeping Your Google Sheets Files Safe
We can all complain about Google as much as we want, but at the end of the day, everyone uses their products. And while it’s easy to find faults and criticize mistakes, it’s true that Google do an excellent job at protecting files stored on their servers.
However, next time you’re working on spreadsheets that contain sensitive information, you might want to consider adding an extra layer of security on your side.
Do you trust the way Google handles your files in Google Drive? Let us know in the comments section below.