Google Services and Encryption

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under interesting feature, news

Over the past 6 months, there has been a lot of publicity over what the Intelligence Services of the UK and the USA have access to. When the story first broke, the University issued a news item on it’s thoughts around the issue and you can find that here: http://www.bris.ac.uk/it-services/news/2013/datasecurity19june.html

Since then, the various big technology companies have been investing time/effort into making their networks/services even more secure and resilient to attack/interception. The EFF (a long time advocate of privacy on the internet) has this week published a simple table on which companies are making the most effort and we’re pleased to see that Google is at the top, with 5 out of 5:


ssl(click for a bigger image)

It’s not important to know what the 5 column headings mean, just that they show Google are taking every step they can to prevent your information being read by anyone other than you. This includes criminals, governments, competitors – anyone who shouldn’t have access to your data without the appropiate legal document.

You can read more on the story at the EFF’s website: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/11/encrypt-web-report-whos-doing-what



Attaching files in Gmail

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under drive, gmail, interesting feature

In this blog, we try to give you new ways of working. Ways that will hopefully improve your productivity. This week, we’re going to show you how to share files using Google Drive, rather than attaching them directly to Gmail.


Benefits of Inserting Files Using Drive

Larger File Sharing

Traditionally when attaching files to Gmail, you are limited to 25 MB. Sharing a file instead, bypasses the need to attach it to an email, and allows you to send a file up to 10 GB in size. This functionality is possible due to the ability to upload files (and preserve them in their native format) up to 10 GB in Google Drive. Storing files in the cloud in Google Drive ensures that your important files in various formats are available anytime and on any device where you sign in to your Drive account.
Easier Collaboration
When sharing attachments, the purpose is typically to begin collaboration on a project. When sending documents or spreadsheets as attachments to emails to your colleagues, you can easily end up with multiple versions flowing back into your inbox. This workflow is a recipe for disaster. Before you know it, there are multiple versions of your spreadsheet or document circulating. You’re left with multiple revisions in multiple copies, and it is easy to get confused and accidentally start working with the wrong version by mistake.
By inserting a document using Google Drive, you can avoid this confusion because you and your collaborators are always working on the original document in its most up-to-date state. Collaborate on edits with your colleagues in the same document and the same time, and use chat and comments to take working with each other to the next level. Everyone is viewing the same content and can see the changes take effect in real time. Don’t agree with the changes a collaborate made? No problem. You can use the Revision History feature is Google documents to view changes and even restore a previous version of your document if necessary.
Maintain Doc Visibility
When you send an attachment, anyone can download, share, and make changes to it. The recipient has the freedom to forward the attached file to others, which results in a total loss of control over who is accessing your file. On the other hand, when sharing from Drive, you can control the visibility and sharing permissions for each document. Drive lets you be in control by allowing you to edit the collaborators.

How to Insert Files using Drive

Hover over the plus sign located next to the paperclip icon in a new message or reply screen.
Click on the Google Drive icon.
In the new window, choose the location of the file you would like to insert:
  • Upload – Select a file from your computer that you would like to upload to Google Drive and share
  • My Drive – Select a file from your My Drive point of view
  • Shared with me – Select a file from you Shared with me point of view
  • Starred – Select a file that you deemed as star-worthy
  • Previously selected – Select a previously used file
  • All items – Select a file from your file repository



After selecting a file and clicking Insert, the Drive file will be added to your email. Once you have finished composing your email, click send. Insert with Drive has a built in feature that will alert you if try to send your email without sharing the selected file with the recipient(s). You are able to set the file’s visibility directly from this alert, and then Share & send.


Inserting documents this way improves the way we send and work with file attachments. Now we have much more power to share large files, and have control over who can view or edit them. Use this method rather than the traditional way to attach files, so you can reap the benefits discussed above.
(this post was originally written by our friends at www.ditoweb.com)


Google ends suport for Internet Explorer 9

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under news

internet-explorer-_1207664cGoogle aim to ensure all their products (Gmail, Calendar, Drive etc) work in the current and prior major release of Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari on a rolling basis. Each time a new version of one of these browsers is released, they begin supporting the update and stop supporting the third-oldest version. Google also support the latest version of Chrome as this self updates every-time it detects there is a new version.

In October, Microsoft released a preview of Internet Explorer 11 which means that Google no longer supporting Internet Explorer 9. Unfortunately, IE9 is installed on the majority of Windows machines in the University and using this to access Google products will likely result in a compatibility error.

IT Services advise that you use Chrome (which should be installed on all Windows machines) to access Google products. You can find this in your start menu, or launch it by clicking the ‘UoB Staff Email’ shortcut.