Sending encrypted files through Google

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under news, Uncategorized

google-cloud-security Whilst Google’s services are very secure in their own right (read more here: http://goo.gl/dP02wl), the University has always offered advice on how to encrypt files that you may send via Gmail, Drive or other means. Whilst the University mandates encryption for strictly confidential files, you may personally wish to encrypt them to be 110% guaranteed of their privacy, or to protect the integrity of the file – there are many reasons.

Earlier this week, Google made a change to their services that resulted in the method that we had for encrypted files no longer being compatible with Gmail or Drive. We don’t yet know why they made this change, but Google do pro-actively make changes to their services to protect the security of the service and the users that use it.

Because of this, the University has had to make a small change to it’s instructions, meaning that you have to choose a different option in one of the drop-down boxes in 7-zip – you can find more information on this, and other information security advice, on the University website:



Staying at the forefront of email security and reliability: HTTPS-only and 99.978% availability in Gmail.

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under news

google-cloud-securityYour email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to the University and to Google. As you go about your day reading, writing, and checking messages, there are tons of security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe, secure, and there whenever you need it.

Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted  connection (HTTPS) when you check or send email. Gmail has supported HTTPS since the day it launched, and in 2010 Google made HTTPS the default. Today’s change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers—no matter if you’re using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.

In addition, every single email message you send or receive—100% of them—is encrypted while moving internally in Google. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail’s servers, but also as they move between Google’s data centres—something Google made a top priority after last summer’s revelations.

Of course, being able to access your email is just as important as keeping it safe and secure. In 2013, Gmail was available 99.978% of the time, which averages to less than two hours of disruption for a user for the entire year. The engineering experts at Google look after their services 24×7 and if a problem ever arises, they’re on the case immediately. Google help us to keep you informed by posting updates on the Apps Status Dashboard until the issue is fixed, and we always conduct a full analysis on the problem to prevent it from happening again.

The Google commitment to the security and reliability of your email is absolute, and they are constantly working on ways to improve. You can learn about additional ways to keep yourself safe online, like creating strong passwords, by visiting the Security Center: https://www.google.com/help/security.


Customise your launcher!

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under new feature

Coming soon, the ability to change your launcher to work how you want it to.

It’s rolling out across Google now, more info at: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1714464



















Google Statement on Privacy and Security in Google Apps

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under news

google-cloud-securityThere has been a small flurry of stories in the industry press recently, attempting to prove, incorrectly, that Google doesn’t honour it’s commitment to provide Apps for Education customers with an advertisement free and secure service. Whilst Google have had websites around security/privacy before, it’s now written a simple and clear English statement on the security/privacy protections built in to Google Apps for Education.

The full text is copied below, but you can also read it here: http://www.google.com/edu/privacy.html




Google Apps for Education – Security and Privacy

More than 30 million students, teachers and administrators rely on Google Apps for Education every day to communicate and collaborate more efficiently. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of our users — and that includes students — to make sure their information is safe, secure and always available to them.

Here are a few important things to know about Google Apps for Education and student accounts:

Ads in Gmail are turned off by default for Google Apps for Education and we have no plans to change this in the future.

Gmail for consumers and Google Apps users runs on the same infrastructure, which helps us deliver high performance, reliability and security to all of our users. However, Google Apps offers additional securityadministrative and archiving controls for education, business, and government customers.

Gmail scans and indexes email for multiple purposes, including spell check, virus and spam protection, features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events, relevant search results and advertising; this scanning is done on all incoming emails, is 100% automated and can’t be turned off.

When ads in Gmail are turned off for Google Apps for Education, automated scanning that is done in Gmail is not used to target ads to Education users, whether inside Gmail or in other Google products (e.g. YouTube, Google Search, etc.).

We do not scan information stored in Google Drive or Docs (or Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms) to target ads to Apps for Education customers.

We do not share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google unless one of the circumstances outlined in the Google Privacy Policy applies.

The data schools and students put into our systems is theirs, and we believe it should stay that way. If an education department, school or university decides to no longer use Google we make it easy for them to take their data away with them.

Google Apps for Education offers schools a number of additional controls and security features. These include a 99.9% uptime guarantee, 24/7 customer support, greater storage capacity and the ability for school administrators to turn certain features or services on or off. As with all our accounts, we keep our users secure by filtering out spam and looking out for viruses and malware.




Bring a little something extra to Docs and Sheets with add-ons

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

You use Google Docs and Sheets to get all sorts of stuff done—whether you’re staying up late to finish that final paper or just getting started on a new project at the office. But to help take some of that work off your shoulders, today Google are launching add-ons—new tools created by developer partners that give you even more features in your documents and spreadsheets.


To browse through add-ons for Docs and Sheets, select Get add-ons in the Add-ons menu of any open document or spreadsheet. (Add-ons for spreadsheets are only available in the new Google Sheets).

Once you install an add-on it will become available across all of your documents or spreadsheets and you can start using it right away.

Here are just a few examples of how add-ons can help you do more with Docs and Sheets:

Get approvals from Docs and Sheets 
Need to gather approvals or feedback? Letter Feed Workflows routes your document to the right people and adds a simple “Approve” button right inside your document or spreadsheet. You’ll be notified as soon as it’s approved, and can publish the final version with a single click.

Print address labels and name tags 
With Avery Label Merge you can seamlessly import addresses or names from Sheets into Docs for printing. Just pick the type of Avery labels you’ll be printing and your document will be formatted to match the layout of your label pack.

Create a bibliography without leaving Docs 
Citing sources is about to get much easier for the millions of students who use Google Docs to write papers. TheEasyBib Bibliography Creator helps you cite books, journals, and websites in MLA, APA, and Chicago style by entering in titles, journal article names, and websites right inside your document.

Send customized emails 
With Merge by Mailchimp you can send customized emails from Google Docs. Use merge tags to pull info from a spreadsheet into your document. Once your data is merged, hit send and your personalized emails will be delivered.

These are just some of the many add-ons that are available for you to use right now in the Docs or Sheets add-on stores, with lots more on the way.



(These are currently rolling out, you may find they are not available to your staff account right now!)


5 reasons we use Google Chrome at UoB

Posted by Mally Mclane | Filed under chrome

chrome-os-2odl-8001. Speed

Chrome is designed to be the fastest web browser. With one click it loads web pages, multiple tabs, and applications with lightning speed. Chrome is fitted with V8, a faster and more powerful JavaScript engine. Chrome also loads web pages faster by using the WebKit open source rendering engine. The Omnibox increases speed and efficiency by allowing you to type both searches and web addresses in the address bar.

2. Simplicity

Chrome is a clean and simple browser. The omnibox and multi tabbed browsing make navigating the web a breeze. When you close chrome, it will remember the tabs you had open to you can pick up right where you left off. Chrome also comes equipped with a built-in PDF viewer, eliminating the need to install and software. You can even print, resize, and save PDF’s.

3. Security/Privacy

Chrome keeps you safe and sound with its built-in malware and phishing protection. It has safe browsing technology and will show you a warning message before you visit a site that is suspicious. Chrome also automatically updates to make sure you have the latest and more up to date version.

Chrome also let’s you keep control of your private information while you browse online. Browse using Incognito mode if you don’t want your website visits or downloads recorded. It also doesn’t keep any cookies. You also can control your privacy preferences by selecting Settings and then show advanced settings. From there, adjust your privacy section and clear your browsing data.

4. Customization

Customize Google Chrome to make it your own. Use the Chrome Webstore to add apps, extensions and themes. Apps and extensions give you the latest in productivity, games, education, etc. Themes allow you to bring your browser to life with color and graphics. You can even create your own themes.

5. Signing In 
If you are sharing a computer with other people, you can add multiple users to keep your bookmarks, apps, and extensions separate. Anything you update on one device will instantly update everywhere. Once you sign in, you decide what you want to sync.


(this blog was originally written by our friends at Ditoweb: http://blog.ditoweb.com/2014/02/top-5-reasons-you-should-use-google.html)