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G Suite for Education

G Suite for Education

Google understands that technology is changing not just how employees work together but also how teachers interact with their G Suite for Educationstudents. There are better ways to communicate with students and help them achieve their academic goals than just lecturing them in a classroom. A decade ago, Google introduced Google Apps for Education to help fill this void. With Google Apps rebranded as G Suite, it was time to breathe new life and new features into the education program with: G Suite for Education.

As with its predecessor, G Suite for Education offers the same applications business consumers use to collaborate and stay connected.

Educators have access to:

  • Drive
  • Gmail
  • Docs
  • Calendars
  • Hangouts

These applications allow students and teachers to work together in ways that will help nurture student learning while preparing them for their future.

Classrooms Go Digital

With G Suite for Education, teachers can set up their virtual classrooms to engage with their students. Once created, educators invite students to join their class. After students enter, teachers can dole out assignments and communicate with individuals or the entire group.

Parents can use the classroom setting to talk to teachers as well. Teachers can address concerns or have conferences with parents at a time that is convenient to both without having to interrupt the in-class lessons or parental work day.

In the classroom, teachers issue grades and feedback to students. This paperless environment helps reduce waste and clutter on teacher desks. It also helps to ensure student and teachers do not misplace work.

Spreadsheets for All

G Suite for Education spreadsheets are useful tools. Data is quickly tabulated and automated with charts and graphs that help illustrate the insights students are trying to learn. However, many students, primarily grade school users, cannot efficiently use this tool because they do not know or understand how to write the formulas necessary to use Google Sheets to its full potential.

G Suite for Education’s spreadsheet application allows students to write their query in everyday language. The built-in algorithms, called Natural Language Processing, translates the question into a formula. This action produces an answer just as it would if the student had typed the method in themselves.

Self-Styling Presentations

Presentations are much work for both teachers and students. As formatting is a time-consuming process, content often takes a back seat and is not allowed to shine through as it should. G Suite for Education’s Slides application turns the focus back to the content, allowing students to let their creativity flow through the story they need to tell. As the user enters information onto the slide, the program automatically offers layout suggestions that will highlight the content.

The more students use the Slides program, the more the application learns about how the student works. This intelligence feature improves the program over time, saving the student countless preparation hours later.

Intelligent Docs

As with Slides and Sheets, G Suite for Education has added smart programming to their Docs application. Known as Explore in Google Docs, this system automatically recommends related topics to help students continue to learn about issues about which they are writing. Additionally, this application offers SafeSearch, Creative Commons licensed images that students may want to include in their paper.

Students needing to reference items located within their classroom’s Drive location can use Explore in Google Docs to find them. Explore can pull relevant files and open them, so the student does not have to spend time switching between applications looking for the correct data. Instead, they can spend more time working on their assignment, polishing before turning it over to the teacher for grading.

Storage and Communication

Teachers and students have access to Google Drive. This storage location allows students to share files not only with their teacher but also with each other. Fellow students can collaborate on projects before the teacher grades them. Kids also can access data created in the classroom from home without having to carry around flash drives which can be easily lost or accidentally infected with a virus.

Students and teachers use Hangouts to collaborate, ask questions, and engage in discussions about classroom topics. Teachers can set due dates for students using the Google Calendar program. Educators can also use the calendar to schedule meetings with parents and fellow teachers.

G Suite is available to all schools and educational institutions. Administrators can access the service through G Suite for Education’s website. There is no charge for educational facilities to use making it the perfect addition to all their classrooms.

CloudAlly offers special pricing for educational institutions for G Suite Backup.

Q&A: Backing Up Your G Suite Apps with CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup

Q&A: Backing Up Your G Suite Apps, with CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup

Backing Up Your G Suite AppsGoogle’s G-Suite is only able to protect your data on the company’s end, meaning that if Google loses your information – say, in a disk failure – they will be able to recover it. On your end, though, if you lose data, you need third-party backup program like CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup. This limited in-built recovery in G Suite means that if you intend to adopt the program, you need to first consider how to backup Google apps. Here, we’ll answer some of your most pressing questions about backing up your G Suite Apps.

Is data loss really a significant problem for companies?

According to a recent study from Dell EMC, many companies worldwide are failing to implement the necessary levels of data protection, backup, and recovery. In the past twelve months, 52% of companies faced unplanned downtime and 29% suffered from data loss.

Why does G-Suite need a third-party backup?

Here are just a few of the reasons you need to back up your G-Suite apps:

  • Ransomware (which has seen a 3,500% increase in the last few years)
  • Phishing attempts
  • Accidental deletion – in a recent survey, accidental deletions accounted for 41% of data loss on SaaS applications
  • Migration errors – in the same study, 31% of users said a migration error caused them to lose their data
  • Mistaken overwrites – another problem accounting for 26% of data loss on SaaS applications with insufficient data backup

How can I download my data from G-Suite?

Google gives users the options to export their data and download it later. Be aware, though, this option only gives you a static collection of data on the date of the export. The database compiled will not continue to be updated as users’ data is updated. You can lead your employees through the following steps:

  1. Head to Google’s “Download your data” page and sign into your Google Account.
  2. Choose the G Suite apps you want included in the download.
  3. Click on “Next.”
  4. Select the file type in which you want the archive’s information to be stored.
  5. Choose “Send download link via email” as your Delivery method.
  6. Select “Create archive.”
  7. You will then receive an email with a link to your archive. Depending on the size of the archive created, you will receive your archive length within minutes up to a few hours.
  8. If you want to access the archive, click “Download archive” and follow the instructions.

How can I restore Gmail and Drive Data?

As an administrator, you can restore lost data (except for email drafts or data from the Trash) for up to 10 users in Gmail and/or Google Drive. Be aware, though, this method of data recovery only works on data deleted within the last 25 days. Here’s how to do restore data for multiple users:

  1. Log onto your Google Admin console using your administrator account.
  2. Navigate to the “Users” page.
  3. Click the box next to all the users whose data you want to restore; you can click up to 10 users’ boxes.
  4. Click “More” on the toolbar.
  5. Click “Restore data.”
  6. Set the date range for the data you want to restore, up to 25 days.
  7. Select if you want to restore data from Drive or Gmail.
  8. Click “Restore data.”

How can I scan email traffic using data loss prevention?

If you have G Suite Enterprise, you can set predefined detectors that help support a data loss protection policy. These detectors are culled from public information. Google provides a list of predefined detectors that you can set up in your email traffic scan. Here are a few options:

  • Checksum offers computation and verification with a check digit.
  • Word or phrase list lets you match a whole phrase or part of a phrase to a word or phrase found in a dictionary.
  • Pattern match recognizes alphanumeric patterns that include range checks, valid position, and delimiters.
  • Context matches strings in relation to a checksum matching string, pattern, or both.

While these options provide solutions to certain problems with G Suite apps, they do not provide a simple, complete way to back up and restore user data. To secure G Suite, you need to use a third-party backup app: CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup.

Why do I need a third-party backup for G-Suite?

One of the biggest problems with Google apps is that users can only save deleted emails and other data for a maximum of 60 days. After that, the data is lost forever. In contrast, G Suite Backup gives you unlimited storage length – you can keep your data forever. Additionally, another drawback of G-Suite is that each user only has 30 MB of storage for all their data, including emails, photos, and files. CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup, in contrast, gives users unlimited storage.

If you are already a fan of G-Suite or intend on adopting G-Suite for your business, we aren’t asking you to reconsider. Instead, we suggest opting for the backup protection of a third-party software provider like CloudAlly. CloudAlly’s G Suite Backup provides backup and support for all G Suite apps, including often-used apps like Gmail, Calendar, and Google Drive.

What is unique about G Suite Backup?

G Suite Backup lets you recover information without overwriting any changes you may have made after the recovery time. This non-destructive recovery lets you search for time-specific data and recover it – without worrying that users will lose later drafts of the same files.

Another unique feature is that users can quickly export and access their data on an alternate device. G Suite allows for the export archived data in multiple formats, including EML, VCF and ICS, and in PST format for Outlook.

How does G Suite Backup protect data for multiple users?

For G Suite Backup to be fully functional for business use, it needs to be able to detect multiple users. And it can. CloudAlly can detect new users at your company, and from their first sign-on, can back up their data. If you would like to be in control of user management, too, CloudAlly gives you the option to manually control the addition and deletion of users.

What about pricing for G Suite Backup

G Suite is available for $3/month per user or $30/year per user plans. If you’re curious about G Suite Backup, but want to test its functionality before purchasing, try it out first with our 15-day free trial.

Google Drive Down Worldwide: Averting Problems with Google Drive Backup

Google Drive Down Worldwide: Averting Problems with Google Drive Backup

Google Drive Down WorldwideHere’s the scenario: you get to work, ready to pull up the spreadsheet you’ve been working on from Google Drive. But there’s a problem: Google Drive is down. You wait. Check again. Google drive is still down, and it stays down. For over an hour. What are you going to do now? The answer: keep waiting, even as you waste time. While there is certainly nothing wrong with using Google Drive to back up your G Suite apps, recent issues like this one prove that Google Drive alone is not reliable enough to be your only backup. CloudAlly’s G Suite/Google Apps Backup gives you the security that your data will be protected, even if Google Drive fails.

Right now, Google Drive aims to simplify G Suite users’ storage and file sharing in the cloud, but the program regularly has its snafus.

Case in point about Google Drive’s unreliability: on the morning of September 7, Google Drive users started receiving error messages from the file storage service. Users around the world could not load their files.

At 10:37am EST on September 7, 2017, Google announced that it was working to resolve the issue:

“We’re investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive.” Google Drive was down for an entire hour. By 11:38am EST, the program had been restored for some users, but it was still down for others.

Google issued another message that users could “expect a resolution for all users in the near future,” but the company could not provide a concrete timeline. Only by 12:24pm EST – nearly two hours after Google started working on the problem – was Google Drive restored for all users. The tech giant apologized for the inconvenience and said that it planned to develop “continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

Sure, Google says they’re working to make Google Drive infallible, but what if they don’t deliver on their promise, like they most likely will? If Google Drive fails when you need important data, you’re stuck, waiting until Google recovers. Without a third-party program, there is nothing you can do about Google Drive’s unreliability.

You might think, Google Drive was down for a few hours. So what? The problem speaks to a common issue of unreliability with the service. Just a few days after the first issue, on September 11, nearly 3,000 people reported issues with Google Drive again.

Sure, Google Drive is helpful. But it is by no means complete.

Google Drive’s Unreliability?

Google Drive does back up your files and data. However, the protection it provides is not enough.

Take malware and ransomware. Does Google Drive protect your files from these malicious viruses?

Nope. Even if your files are stored on the Google Drive cloud, your data could be infected. Only a third-party software like CloudAlly can protect your Google Drive files from corruption or ransom.

But, you might think, at least Google Drive will be around forever, right?

Again, the answer isn’t certain. Google Drive’s future is at risk. In early September 2017, users feared that Google Drive was shutting down altogether. While this turned out to be hype, Google is shutting down its Google Drive app for Windows and Mac, replacing it with a new backup up.

Right now, though, take a breath. Google Drive is still accessible to all users through browsers on all devices, but this replacement demonstrates Google doesn’t love Google Drive enough that they’ll never change or replace it. Google Drive may not be around forever, and while Google Drive will likely not shut down without notice, it still makes sense to have a third-party software like CloudAlly to back up all your data.

CloudAlly’s G Suite/Google Apps Backup

Returning to the interruption of Google Drive on September 7.

Google Drive users without third-party backups just had to wait. And click to see if Google Drive had come back online. And wait. And click.

But if you were using CloudAlly, you could have exported critical documents instantly. You wouldn’t have wasted any time. CloudAlly lets you export your data to any and all of the programs or devices you need using efficient zip downloads. Instead of waiting for Google to repair Google Drive on September 7, you could have kept on working like nothing was wrong.

Besides, CloudAlly’s Google Apps Backup does more than protect your Google Drive files, too. It backs up all your G Suite apps, including Gmail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and chats on an automated, daily basis.

Don’t put your data safely entirely into Google’s control; take matters into your own hands! Want to see for yourself how CloudAlly is more reliable than Google Drive? Try our free backup for 15 days.

How to Recover Missing G Suite Files

How to Recover Missing G Suite Files

It’s always frustrating to loose a file, but as a G Suite administrator, recovering and restoring missing files and emails is basic part of your job.  Users may restore their data for up to 30 days or until it’s permanently deleted, whichever comes first. However, if they permanently delete a file or email, it’s probably up to you to restore it. How to Recover Missing G Suite Files ?

Lets re track;  Of course G Suite has limitations on the restore such as the time limit of 25 days to restore permanently deleted files back to the user who created them, but it does provide basic restore functions including:

  • A date range search to locate deleted items
  • Verify restoration via inbox or Google Drive check
  • Restore data to a team drive
  • Restore a deleted team drive
  • Restore data for up to 10 users at once

Restoring Deleted Files

To restore either Gmail messages or deleted Google drive files start by signing into your Google administration console. From here you can restore information to an individual user or multiple users at a time.

Single User Restoration

For single user restoration, after you have logged into the administration console, navigate to the Users panel.

  1. Locate the user and click on their name to open the account page.
  2. Once on the users account page, click the More icon and select Restore Data.
  3. Indicate the date range for the data you wish to restore. Restoration is only possible within the last 25 days.
  4. Choose the type of data you wish to restore either Drive or Gmail. An error message appears if you do not select a data type.
  5. Click Restore Data.

Once restored, you can navigate to the user’s inbox or Google Drive to verify restoration occurred.

Multiple User Restoration

As G Suite administrator you may restore files to multiple users. As with a single user restoration, you must first log in to the administration console.

  1. Navigate to the Users panel.
  2. Put a checkmark in the box to the left of each user whose data you wish to restore. You may only restore up to 10 users at a time.
  3. On the toolbar, click the More icon and select Restore Data.
  4. Select the date range for the data you wish to restore. This field only covers the previous 25 days.
  5. Choose the data type you wish to restore, either Drive or Gmail. Leaving this criteria blank results in an error message.
  6. Click Restore Data.

You can now verify if restoration was successful.

A Complete Backup and Recovery Solution

Google restore functions are limited to approximately 30 days, so your business is at risk if data has been deleted or corrupted without detection for more than 1 month. You can protect your data an eliminate this risk by using CloudAlly’s automated  daily backup service for G suite including the ability to recover or export data from any point-in-time.

Admins can drill down through date snapshots or use the granular search function to quickly locate and restore data to the original user or another user if needed. Data can be exported in Outlook compatible .pst for onsite use, and mailboxes can be archived as needed when off-boarding employees.

Give us a try for 15 days no risk. If you like our services, G Suite backup starts at three dollars per user per month or $30 per user per year.

How to maintain G Suite security settings ?

Setting G Suite Security Settings

If maintaining security is not at the forefront of your business model, then you are opening yourself up to hackers and data loss. G Suite offers security features to help protect your employees’ accounts and maintain your company’s data integrity.  This blog post will explain how to maintain: G suite security settings.

View User Settings

As a G Suite administrator, you can access user security settings to ensure password strength is up to code and turn on two-step verification security protocols. To do this, you must first log into your administrator account and access the administrator console.

  1. Click users.
  2. On the user’s screen, you can verify the status of two-step verification enrollment. If you do not see a column listed for the two-step verification, click the more icon and choose select columns to expand your screen to include any missing options.
  3. Select the user whose security settings you wish to check.
  4. Click Security. Again, if security is not an option, select show more to find the missing section.

Two-step verification

If the user has enabled the two-step verification, the backup verification codes are accessible by clicking show backup verification codes. Google suggests all G Suite users utilize the two-step verification process for maximum security. As an administrator, you can disable this feature if an employee no longer has access to the mobile number they used to set up their security.

To begin the two-step verification initiation process log into your administration console and select set up two-step verification for your domain. At this point, you should notify all your users of your new security protocol and include instructions on how they can finish setting up their enrollment.

All users must opt into the two-step verification themselves regardless of company policy. After they choose to opt-in, users need to navigate to the two-step verification page to set up their codes. Once on the two-step verification page, select Get Started.

  1. Enter the email and password associated with the G Suite user account.
  2. Click the start set up button.
  3. When prompted, enter a mobile phone number in which to send a text message containing a six-digit verification code.
  4. Verify the phone number by entering the six digit code which you received.
  5. Choose to add the current computer as a trusted device. If the machine used to set up the two-step verification is and not your regular computer, do not select “trust this ”
  6. Confirm that you want to use two-step verification.

Unless the computer is a trusted device, each time your user logs in they will be required to enter the six-digit verification code. Mobile devices using Gmail and Google calendar may require app passwords in addition to their verification code. The app password is entered once and remains the same until the user updates their login information.

Password Strength – G Suite Security Settings

As the G Suite administrator, you can help protect your users’ accounts by monitoring and managing the length and strength of their passwords. Setting a length requirement prevents users from creating short passwords which are easy to hack. Start by logging into your G Suite administration console.

  1. On the dashboard navigate to security and then basic settings. If the security option is not visible on your panel, select more controls to browse to the security features.
  2. In the section labeled password strength, enter a minimum and maximum length the user passwords must abide. For example, must be between eight and 20 characters.
  3. Click save.

Also in the security section of the G Suite administration dashboard, you can monitor how secure user passwords are. Navigate to the password monitoring area of the security section. From here you can view a graph showing the overall strength of your users’ passwords. This bar graph will change over time depending common passwords that are known to be vulnerable and your password length requirements.

Keeping your G Suite user accounts secure is your best line of defense against hackers and data loss. It is also a good idea to back up all G Suite user information. CloudAlly offers an affordable backup service for all your G Suite accounts.

Dropbox vs G Drive

Dropbox vs G Drive

The way people work is constantly changing. More employees need access to documents and files even when they aren’t at their desk. For that, they need a remote location in which to store their data that is accessible from anywhere something like the ever-present cloud. With so many cloud choices, we have decided to take a deeper look at Dropbox Vs. G Drive’s business offerings.

Plans and Pricing

Both Dropbox and Google Drive have tiered service plans that allow users to pick the best options for themselves. Both companies offer personal and business platforms to best meet client needs. However, they do differ slightly in overall features and pricing of these tiers.

Dropbox

Dropbox’s service features make them a leader among cloud storage service providers. All their plans include:

  • Access from anywhere
  • Offline access
  • Automatic Updates
  • Office 365 integration
  • Commenting
  • File Requests

All options offer versioning recovery for files stored in Dropbox. However, the length of time for version roll back varies. Dropbox’s professional plans allow users to store up to 120 days of version history.

Business tier plans come with a few extra features. Smart Sync and team folders are only a couple of the extras available. Professional plans also have HIPAA compliance, granular permissions, and an account transfer tool.

Dropbox’s professional pricing plans are:

NameSizeCost AnnuallyCost for Month to Month
Standard—business2 TB$150 per user$15 per user
Advance—businessAs much as needed$240 per user$25 per user
Enterprise—businessAs much as neededCall for quoteCall for quote

 

Google Drive

Offices using G Suite automatically have access to a Google Drive. As with Dropbox, Google Drive has much to offer in the way of features.

  • Anywhere access
  • Large file sharing and storage
  • Offline access
  • Link sharing
  • Collaborate with others
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Sync between different locations, e., desktop, web, and mobile
  • Productivity tools

As part of G Suite for business users, Google Drive has additional features including:

  • Audit report
  • Data loss prevention (Enterprise level only)
  • eDiscovery
  • Smart search across G Suite with Cloud Search
  • 24/7 support by phone, chat or email
  • Shared calendars

Unlike with Dropbox, however, Google does have some space saving solutions. For the most part, anything stored within the Drive counts against the storage space. However, there is some instance where files within the drive do not count against the storage space. These include:

  • Files in “Shared with Me” in which you are not the owner of the document. These only take up space in the owner’s drive, not yours.
  • Google Photos stored using the “High Quality” setting.
  • Photos and Videos backed up from a Pixel phone.

Google Drive storage may also vary between the web based application, desktop, and mobile application. Shared items do take space on your hard drive on both your desktop and mobile devices while they do not take space on the internet. Additionally, Google Drive does not sync items stored in the web application’s trash to your desktop or mobile application.

Google Drive is offered as part of the G Suite service package. Each license you purchase has access to individual Drive locations, not just a centralized dumping space for entire team. The different tiers depend on what your need are. While both the Business and Enterprise plans offer the same Google Drive storage, there are other features offered for G Suite users that may need.

Google Drive with G Suite

NameSizeCost Monthly
Basic30 GB$5 per user
BusinessUnlimited (or 1TB for fewer than 5 users)$10 per user
EnterpriseUnlimited (or 1TB for fewer than 5 users)$25 per user

 

Google Drive’s business plans do have a size restriction. For teams and companies with over five users, the storage size is unlimited. However, for businesses with fewer than five users, the storage space is limited to 1TB per user.

Security

Security is an important consideration. You need to be certain that the documents you store are protected from malicious attacks. Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer security features to keep your data safe.

Dropbox

Dropbox is proud of their ongoing security features that help to protect your data from malicious attacks. Their security features include:

  • 256-bit AES encryption for storage
  • SSL/TLS transmission protocols
  • File versioning (30-day for personal plans, 120-day for business plans)
  • Remote device wipe
  • HIPAA compliance (business level options only)
  • Two-factor authentication
  • Password-protected and expiring link sharing

In addition to their built-in security protocols, Dropbox routinely tests their system for vulnerabilities. They currently work with third-party companies and the security research community to find bugs and holes in the system and report it back to them.

Like many cloud services, Dropbox does allow third-party applications to connect to your account, with your permission. To help protect information, they utilize OAuth, a standard authorizing protocol which allows you to grant granular permission to apps you wish to connect.

Google Drive

Like their competitor, Google Drive has security measures in place to ensure safe storage of your data safely. Some of the safety features they have included:

  • SSL/TLS transmission encryption
  • 256-bit AES security
  • 2048 RSA encryption keys for validation and key exchange phrases
  • Certified by SOC1, SOC2, and SOC3 by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant
  • Certified ISO/IEC 27001

Google uses Perfect Forward Secrecy to encrypt content during moves between servers. While stored on their servers, the information is walled off from others who may share the server, in much the same way that banks separate accounts. This separation protects your files from intrusion by other Google account holders.

Like Dropbox, Google uses outside contributors to keep their security protocol in check. In fact, they were one of the first companies to offer a Vulnerability Reward Program to their web account holders.

Apps

There are several ways for you to access both your Dropbox and Google Drive. Each cloud service has a desktop and mobile apps in addition to web access.

Dropbox

If you sign up for Dropbox from your desktop or laptop computer, one thing you will notice prompts to download the desktop application. With this application, a dedicated folder appears on your computer. That folder gives you a direct link to files stored inside your Dropbox account. The desktop application also provides you access to Dropbox files when you are offline. Once you go back online, the folder automatically syncs.

Dropbox allows you to take your files on the go with their mobile apps. You can get mobile applications for Apple, Android, and Windows devices. As with the desktop application, this tool allows you to stay in sync with all files in your account and any shared with you from other accounts. You can use your document scanner to upload images such as white boards and convert them to easy to use PDFs.

Of course, you can still access your Dropbox account via the internet. Once you browse to their website, sign in. From here you can preview, download, and upload files. Any changes you make automatically sync with your desktop and mobile apps.

Google Drive

As with Dropbox, Google Drive has a desktop application. This folder syncs files that you choose to sync to your computer’s hard drive, you choose which objects and folders to sync and which to leave exclusively online. Any file not synced cannot be accessed via this application.

Google Drive’s mobile app works their desktop software similarly. With the mobile app, you can:

  • View content
  • Access files
  • See file details and activities
  • Access Google Photos
  • Use camera to scan documents into PDF
  • Set content permissions

Of course, you can always access your data on the web. By logging in to your Google account, you can view, edit, and set content permissions. Moving items into the trash online will remove things from your sync folders. However, the trash does not show up in the synchronized folders.

Whether you choose Dropbox or Google Drive, you need to protect your data with a backup and recovery solution. CloudAlly’s G Suite backup service includes Drive with unlimited storage at a cost of $3/month or $30/year per user. CloudAlly’s Dropbox backup service will be available Q4 2017 at a cost of $2/month or $20/year per 5GB of data.