Secure your Google Docs with Collavate


Google Docs is an innovative Google service that lets users manage, edit, share and create documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other file types. However, even though Google Docs offers numerous benefits to all users, there are certain security concerns that arise when sharing documents outside the domain or when a sensitive document is mistakenly sent to the wrong user.  


In addition to these “external” security issues, companies have also expressed concern that important documents can easily and inadvertently be deleted without notice, an event that has happened before.   This is why many companies are still afraid or hesitant to use Google Docs when it comes to confidential documents.  


One way to tackle the security issue is to have the Google Apps super admin disable outside sharing settings so that no one outside a certain domain level can access the files. However, the problem with this method is that you will no longer be able to collaborate with users outside the domain (e.g. clients or partners) once you switch off these sharing settings. Even if you were to disable outside sharing, users can still mistakenly or purposefully share documents with the wrong users. 

If you are a Google Docs user and share these concerns, here’s some good news: a solution for your problems is finally here and its name is Collavate.  Read on to learn more about what this Google Docs tool offers you.



Workflow with Document Ownership Change and Archiving


If you have to write a document and get it approved by your supervisor, all you have to do is define a workflow, edit the Google document and then submit it to your supervisor using the Collavate tool.  Once the document is submitted, a unique document identification number is automatically generated as a prefix to the document name, and permission to edit the document is automatically sent to your supervisor via email.  At the same time, ownership of the document automatically transfers to your domain’s designated document administrator and you will automatically become a viewer without permission to edit the document. 

Your supervisor will have editing privileges, and can either accept or reject the document, or revise it and send it back to you.  Once the supervisor has completed his or her review and takes action on the document, the supervisor’s editing privileges will end, and s/he will be able to only view the document.  All changes to the document are stored in your domain’s Google Drive, and the document and all changes to the document will be properly archived and protected.  If you would like to learn more about this security feature, try out the free version of Collavate. 

Collavate’s 5-Tier Security Control System


Collavate’s 5-Tier Security Control System is designed to help organizations control access to documents.  Each Collavate document is assigned a security access code number from 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest level of security access and 5 the lowest level.  Users are similarly assigned a security access code number by the domain administrator that designates the user’s level of access.  So, for instance, if a user has a security access code of 3, that user may access all documents that have a security code number of 3, 4 or 5, but not documents with security code numbers 1 or 2.  If users are not in your collaborative group, they will still be able to view the “S-Level” documents corresponding to their clearance level. However, they will not be provided with the option of downloading the documents. 
This security level feature is developed and designed to give both individuals and corporate organizations total control of how documents can be viewed by employees as well as the public.  By using this feature, you and your organization will be able to easily protect confidential information on Google drive.

Activating Security Levels and Labeling Documents 
To further secure your documents, only administrative users can provide others access to the Admin menu of Collavate.  If you have access to the Admin menu, you will be able to activate and customize document security by following these three steps.
  • Enable the 5-Tier Security Control System,
  • Set the security level or labels for Google Documents.
  • Assign users to clearance levels.

Enabling the 5-Tier Security Control System 
To enable the 5-Tier Security Control System on Collavate, all you need do is implement the following three easy steps:
  • Click on “Admin,” which is located at the right top corner of your screen.
  • Go to the “Collavate Admin” menu, which is at the left side your screen, and click on “Docs Security.”
  • When the drop down menu of Enable Document Security Level is visible to you, click on it and proceed to switch on the 5-Tier Security Control System.

To learn more about Security level features, click here to read the Collavate user guide.

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