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SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems,
and Educational Technologies

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems, and Educational Technologies

VCU Google Drive

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The FAQs below will be answered soon. If you have a different question than what you see listed here, please email SOMSecurity@vcuhealth.org.

How do I access Google Drive on my phone or ipad?
Google Drive access is currently disabled for mobile devices while we investigate secure options for accessing Google Drive on mobile devices. This question will be updated as more information becomes available.
Can I use other cloud storage solutions for work?
No, you should not be using your personal cloud storage or other cloud storage solutions to store work-related materials or files. Other cloud storage solutions that you should not use include: Dropbox, Box, Amazon Cloud, etc. You should always use VCU's Google Drive to store business-related files as it has the proper security controls in place to help safeguard data. Again, you should not use any other cloud storage solution other than VCU Google Drive.
What happens if I share a document / file with someone who does not have a Google account?
Google will prompt the recipient to create an account using the email address that was provided.
What happens to data when someone leaves VCU?
At the moment, the files and folders created by the user will remain. It's possible that this will change in the near future .It is recommended that the person leaving change the ownership of their files to someone else. If this is not done, please submit a ticket at http://go.vcu.edu/SOMTicket in order to get the ownership changed.
What type of files can I store on Google Drive?
Google Drive allows the storage of any file type. It is believed that the maximum file size for any single file is 5TB. Certain types of files are able to be edited while on Google Drive. This includes documents, presentations, and spreadsheets. Please note that these files may need to be converted to a special format in order to be edited online.
Are there any types of data that I should be concerned about storing on Google Drive?
Because of the security agreement between VCU and Google, any data (including category 1 data) except for credit card data may be stored on Google Drive. However, it is more secure to store sensitive data on the SOM share drives. If sensitive data is stored on Google Drive, it is imperative that it be done properly and securely. Please be extra cautious when sharing this type of data. It is the user's responsibility to make sure that sensitive data is not exposed. The School of Medicine has turned on certain security features to make this easier.

To learn more about the different types of data and where it can be stored, click here.
How can I share files and/or folders with other people using Google Drive?
The School of Medicine section of Google Drive allows for three types of sharing:

  • Direct Sharing - this allows you to share with individuals within VCU and / or outside VCU. Each of these collaborators must have a Google account (whether it be an institutional account or personal account). This is the only way that sensitive data should be shared.
  • VCU-wide Sharing - this allows for you to share a document with everybody at VCU with a VCU Google account. The shared file can be found by searching and should effectively be considered public although it is only accessible by people within VCU. Sensitive data should not be shared this way.
  • Link Sharing - this allows you to create a unique link that points to the shared file and allows anyone at VCU who has the link to access it. This is the same as VCU-wide sharing, but the file is not searchable. Sensitive data should not be shared this way.
To share a file, click the Share button at the top right of the screen (while document is open). To share a folder, right click on the folder you wish to share and select Share. More specific instructions on how to share files and/or folders will be documented and provided on the Support page. This will also be covered in the Training sessions provided.
Why can't I use Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts is not part of the security agreement that VCU has with Google. It is unlikely that this will change anytime soon.
What web browser(s) should I use when accessing Google Drive?
While Google Drive should work with any modern web browser, it is recommended that you use Google Chrome.
How much data can I store in Google Drive?
Google Drive allows for unlimited storage. Each individual file can be no larger than 5TB.
When will I be able to access Google Drive?
Google Drive for the School of Medicine is expected to go live in November of 2016. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Is Google Drive replacing the School of Medicine "share drives"? (aka T: / U: drives)
No. The share drives will remain available. The share drives make it easier to store and share files in an organized structure. While we continue to increase the capacity of the share drives, Google Drive may be a better choice for certain large data sets and for sharing outside of VCU.
How do I add files to Google Drive?
The two recommended ways of adding / uploading files are as follows:

  • From within Google Drive, click the NEW button at top left side of screen and select File upload. You will be able to upload more than 1 file at a time with this method.
  • With Google Drive open, you can drag and drop files and/or folders of files into the browser window.
Why isn't Google Drive sync working for me?
Google Drive sync is currently disabled. We are investigating the security of this feature.
Am I getting a VCU Gmail account as well?
No. The purpose of this set-up is purposefully for the use of Google Drive.
Why can't I use my Google account to log into third party apps?
Third party apps are currently disabled. We are investigating the security of third party apps.
Who do I contact if I need help?
Please email SOMSecurity@vcuhealth.org or submit a SOM Security ticket at http://go.vcu.edu/SOMTicket.
Are the files on Google Drive backed up?
While there is no official backup system in place, there are features that help prevent the accidental deletion of items. When you first delete (or Remove) an item, it is placed in the Trash. Items from the Trash can be easily restored. In order to permanently delete a file, you must choose the "Delete forever" option.
How do I edit files that are on Google Drive?
For files created in Google Drive, you can edit them by double-clicking the file. For uploaded files, you may have to right-click on the file anb choose Open with. Doing this may create a converted version of the file within Google Drive.
What happens if two people try to edit a file on Google Drive at the same time?
Google allows files to be edited by multiple collaborators at the same time. The changes will be shown as they are made.
If I put a file on Google Drive, can anybody access / see it?
No. By default, the file is only viewable by the uploader.
What if I can't make it to the training sessions?
Alternate training opportunities will be made available in the near future. If you have specific questions, feel free to email SOM Security at SOMSecurity@vcuhealth.org.
Why is this being done?
Google Drive is being provided to the School of Medicine faculty and staff as a way of offering a secured cloud-based storage solution with sharing functionality.
How do I log in to Google Drive?
When available, a login link will be at http://go.vcu.edu/SOMDrive.
What do I do if I can't log into Google Drive?
Please submit a SOM Security ticket at http://go.vcu.edu/SOMTicket
What additional security options were implemented on the School of Medicine Google Drive?
Due to security concerns, the following restrictions are initially being put into place:

  • Google Drive sync is disabled
  • Third party apps are disabled
  • Public sharable links are disabled
If you have any suggestions and/or questions about our security implementation, please email SOMSecurity@vcuhealth.org.
Why are we not using OneDrive for Office 365?
OneDrive for Office 365 is still being investigated and may be available in the future.
Can I get a copy of the presentation given during the Google Drive information sessions?
Yes. You may access the presentation slides here: https://ts.som.vcu.edu/docs/Google-Drive-SOM-Information-Session.pdf

More questions will continue to be added. If you have any questions that are not on this list, please email them to SOMSecurity@vcuhealth.org