Why are public Google documents risky?

Keeping your documents secure is essential to protecting your personal information. Here's how to manage the sharing settings on your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to ensure your documents stay private.

Why a public document compromises your security

When a document is public, anyone who can get their hands on the URL can access it. This means sensitive information, like personal details, financial data, or business plans, can be seen by anyone. Public documents can be a target for hackers and scammers who want to steal this information and sell it to other cybercriminals.

Google Doc sharing settings

Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides offer 2 different sharing settings:

  • Restricted: Only specific people you invite can access your document.
  • Anyone with the link: Anyone can access your document, as long as they have the link.

How to see the sharing settings of your document

  1. Open your Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide.
  2. Click on the "Share" button in the top right corner.
  3. In the sharing settings window, you'll see who has access to your document. If it says "Anyone on the internet with the link can find and view," your document is public.

How to Change Settings in Docs, Sheets, and Slides

To change the sharing settings and keep your documents secure:

  1. Open your Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide.
  2. Click on the "Share" button in the top right corner.
  3. In the sharing settings window, under “General access,” select "Restricted"
  4. To add specific people, enter their email addresses and choose their permissions (Viewer, Commenter, or Editor).
  5. Click "Done" to save your changes.

By following these steps, you can ensure your documents are only accessible to those you trust, keeping your information secure.

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