Google drive is applying a new security update to all files. It aims to make the file storing and sharing service more secure for its users.
This is happening as behind-the-scenes, the URL to files shared in Google Drive is getting slightly longer with “resource key” followed by a string of alphanumeric characters and symbols added to the end.
There are two ways one can use to share a file that is on their Drive. First, users can share a Google file with specific Google accounts and the second is through the ‘Get link’ option where anyone with the link can access the file. By bringing the security update, Google aims to gain more control over how these links, which are reportedly quite guessable, can be accessed. Adding a resource key through the shared drive links makes it harder to guess.
Ahead of this change, Google has issued a warning about the same. The upcoming update to the system may change the Drive links for some pre-existing files. This would mean that the link for shared files that you have sent out previously might no longer work. Warnings started as early as July.
You can check which files of yours are affected in your Google Drive, and you’d have the option to simply remove the security update if it applies to any of your files. However, Google suggests against it; removing the update “should only be considered for files that are posted publicly” and meant for a wide audience. You can re-share updated links for affected files or accept access requests. Google notes that “Access to these files won’t change for people who have already viewed them”.
However, according to the website, the security update will be automatically applied to Family Link accounts. There will be no option to remove the update. Family Link accounts won’t be receiving notifications from Google Drive, either.