Who Has Access to Your Google Documents?

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Image Courtesy of Lifehacker.com

In the push for collaboration between students (as well as their own teacher colleagues), many teachers have turned to the Google suite of products, and specifically Google Drive, which enables users to collaborate on documents in real time. In Drive, the original document must be “shared” with one or more collaborators, which are given editing rights to the document. Additional viewing rights may be granted to one person or to the world in general.

Sometimes, however, individuals who were meant to be given viewing rights are given editing rights. These individuals would in turn be able to alter or even delete the aforementioned documents. Even more problematic is when editing rights are given to everyone!

Typically, in order to view who has editing rights within Google Drive, one must right-click on the folder or document in question and select “Share…”. If multiple documents or folders are in question, this process can become quite cumbersome.

Luckily, there is an easier solution. WhoHasAccess is a website (and also a Chrome app) that will scan one’s Google Drive and provide a list of everyone who has rights to one’s documents. Clicking on each person on the list will yield another list of the documents/folders that s/he has rights to, as well as the type of right (editing or viewing). After twenty-four hours, the WhoHasAccess servers will delete the information they gleaned from searching one’s Drive; one can also press the red button at the bottom of the results page to delete this information instantaneously.

Teachers can use this valuable tool to see which students have access to their files, and students can also benefit by running the WhoHasAccess search periodically to ensure that they have not given editing rights to those they should not have. WhoHasAccess is an essential tool for all who are collaborating on Google Drive!

-Maria Vlahiotis, Literacy Specialist, ACOE Core Learning

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