How To Password Protect Your Google Drive Folder

How To Password Protect Your Google Drive Folder

One of the most secure locations to store documents, photographs, and videos is within your Google account, which is protected by a password.

Unfortunately, Google Drive does not specifically provide file or folder protection with a sharable password. Sure, it does provide the option to limit access to your files using specific sharing settings. Yes, you can also share a Drive Folder (or doc) with another Google Account, but sometimes you’re looking to share an asset or folder with an email address that is not connected with a Google account.

What if you’re looking to share an asset or folder with an email address that is not connected with a Google account?

What can you do?

Still managing sales assets the old way?

Share and track collateral with Content Camel

The best solution is to use a tool that is purpose-built for organizing, sharing and tracking content with third-parties, like Content Camel.

Let’s take a look at how this works with a sales content management tool like content Camel, and then we’ll go deep on how to securely share content with Google Drive.

Sharing Drive files without Google Drive?

Chances are you’re reading this because you want to easily share assets with clients, collaborators, and prospects. And sometimes, these people don’t have a Google account.

Google Drive has become widely adopted when it comes to asset and content management, but at the end of the day;it’s just not built for sales or marketing.

Sales Content Management Software like Content Camel is purpose-built with sales and marketing in mind, and while it may require a few extra steps, the long-term benefits are more than worth it.

Use cases for Content Sharing

1. Sharing on demand
You are trying to share assets but you aren’t sure with whom you are going to share them in advance. You certainly don’t want 500 people in your google drive.

For example, consider brand folders to be shared with partners, customers, etc.

2. Sharing similar copies of the same content
Imagine you are trying to share content with a dozen customers, but you want to provide a unique set of documents to each of them.

You make a template, duplicate it, and start individualizing, but how do you keep track of all these new files and folders? Odds are, you’ll end up creating copies of content in copied folders and before you know it, you can’t find anything that you need.

3. Maintaining control
One of the big concerns with shared drives is that, in a drive folder, you don’t want to give people access to add people, or make unauthorized modifications to your content.

You also don’t want to give permissions that lead to clients snooping around your proprietary documents.

The bottom line is that it is simply too many users and permissions to reasonably track. Maybe if you hired a whole team of people to manage it all, it could work, but why do that when you could get purpose-built software designed to organize and share your assets with the right people, at the right time.

4. Your use case
If you have another use case, please let us know! We’re building new Google Drive features all the time and we’d love to know how we can help

An alternative solution: sharing files and assets with Content Camel**

With Content Camel it’s easy to share content with anyone with an email address. Plus you can:

  1. Create and manage users and permissions
  2. Create and share customized resource pages with curated content
  3. Share trackable links in Email or from your CRM
  4. Use a Google Drive plugin to find and share files
  5. Organize content with unlimited tags
  6. Organize content by industry, sales cycle, etc.
  7. Get analytics on file usage and sharing

How to make easy for your sales team to share content from Content Camel

  1. Signup for a free trial
  2. Import your Google Drive content

Now, let’s cover how you can password protect your Google Drive files.
To password protect your Google Drive files and folders, there are only a few methods you can use:

  1. Restrict the access in Sharing Settings
  2. Encrypt the folder before uploading
  3. Password protect files with Microsoft Word (for docs) or your PDF tool (for pdfs)

You can use any of these methods to protect your Google Drive folders based on your need.

In this article we’ll cover exactly how to do these things in Google as well as cover various use cases where that’s not going to work well, and provide better solutions.

Restrict The Access In Sharing Settings

You may restrict access to the Google drive file by sharing it with a selected audience. You can use features available within the Share menu on Google Drive to limit and add email addresses of users only with whom you want to share the file.

You may grant permissions such as viewer, commenter, or editor to individuals in order to monitor the access to the folder.

Share settings
Share folders in Google Drive

A viewer will only see the folder, but a commenter may view and make comments on it.

Watch out!

However, be cautious when assigning the editor role to others since they have the authority to organize, add, and edit files without your consent or knowledge.

👉 You can also set an expiration on your shares with other Google account holders. More on setting an expiration on Google Drive shares here.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to restrict access to the files or folders you share:

  1. Right click on the file/folder you want to share and select Share from the drop-down menu.
  2. In the text box, you can either share by email or with a link, pick any option.
  3. If you are sharing with an individual, share with an email and edit the access controls in the right side options, next to where you added the email address.
  4. If you want to share it with a group of people, share it with a link. You can manage access controls for that link to “Anyone with the link” or “Restricted.”

Encrypt The Folder Before Uploading

If you want to encrypt your folders, you’ll actually need to do that before uploading them to Google Drive, there are a few different methods that you can use. One option is to use WinRAR to zip and encrypt the folders. Another option is to use Veracrypt. Both of these methods will password protect your folders and files, making them much more secure.

Encrypt your files and folders with WinRAR

To use WinRAR, simply open the program and then select the option to create an archive. Choose the files and folders that you want to include in the archive, and then select a password. Once the archive has been created, you can upload it to Google Drive like any other file.

Encrypt your files and folders with Veracrypt

To use Veracrypt, first create a new volume. This can be done by selecting the option to create a standard volume or a hidden volume. Then, choose the files and folders that you want to include in the volume and select a password. Once the volume has been created, you can mount it and access the files like any other drive. When you’re finished, unmount the drive and then upload the encrypted file to Google Drive.

Encrypt Files With Microsoft Word

While it’s a bit counterintuitive that you’d use MS Word with Google Drive (because you’re likely using GDocs),this is one of the easiest ways to create an extra layer of protection for your files on Google Drive.

MS Office settings
Password protect that Word Doc

If you want to encrypt your files with Microsoft Word, simply follow the step-by-step guide below:

  1. Open the Word document.
  2. Click on File.
  3. Click on Info.
  4. On the right side, click the Protect document menu.
  5. Select the Encrypt with Password option.
  6. Type a password to protect the document.
  7. Click the OK button.

Your file is now encrypted and can only be decrypted using the provided password. Now you may upload the file to your Google Drive without a second thought. If anyone wants to access it, they’ll have to download it and then enter the password to open the file.

Bonus: Enterprise Client-side Encryption

While a bit more technical and only available for Enterprise Edition customers, you can actually encrypt files in Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides with your own encryption key.

You might want to do that for extreme privacy reasons and top-secret intellectual property.

You might also want to do that if you’re in a highly regulated environment like healthcare, aerospace, defense, or financial services.

Enterprise encryption
Enterprise lock down

Besides being encrypted at rest (meaning when the files are saved and stored by Google) and in transit, if a domain admin turns on encryption, then you can create new, encrypted files that are signed by your enterprise credentials and have an extra layer of security.

There’s no password set, so if you’re looking to share files, then this isn’t for you.

Oh, and there are some tradeoffs (like limited collaboration).

Password Protection is unavailable in Google Drive

When you’re looking to share folders and files in Google Drive, sometimes you’d like to set a password on those shares. Especially when sharing to someone that doesn’t have a Google Drive account.

The available options for Google just aren’t ideal.

With simple public sharing of files or folders, someone could easily gain access to your private information, pictures, or documents.

If you want to take more control of your sharing options, check out our sales and marketing specific software to manage, organize, and share your assets with the right people without worrying about exposing data or giving too much access.
Get a free trial of content camel and try for yourself.