Increase Your Company’s Data Protection Using Drive Labels With Google Workspace

As one of its core responsibilities, Google always makes sure to fully understand the value of data protection, especially in this modern era. Drive with Google Workspace has been at the forefront of data sharing, storage, and work collaboration for many years now. And with its current and new features, it’s evident that Google provides much importance to protecting their users’ data. 

As it stands today, Google Drive already provides a great cloud storage service. With the addition of Drive Labels, it has catapulted itself to become the best, if not the better. With Drive Labels, you can implement targeted data governance, allowing you to keep company files organised and well-protected.

Drive Labels

What are Drive Labels?

Labels are metadata, allowing users to easily organise, find, and apply regulations to items in Google Drive such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This specific feature can be used for record management, data classification, structured data finding, workflow, reporting, auditing, and so much more.

What can Drive Labels do?

Labels are very suitable for business organisations, especially when it comes to collaboration. 

  • Give users the ability to classify files based on their sensitivity level
  • Allow admins or managers to create, manage, and easily set rules for each label
  • Files can be automatically classified based on admin-defined data loss prevention (DLP) rules
  • Integrates with Google Workspace DLP to prevent external sharing of sensitive files
  • Increase file searchability by allowing users to find content based on labels and set fields

As teams collaborate on files, they may work on restricted documents containing personal identifiable information, top-secret files, intellectual property, and any other sensitive data. Labels add a layer of data governance to ensure that each file is handled appropriately to its unique content and needs.

With Labels, users can classify the files that they are working on based on sensitivity levels. For example, a policy in your business states that any documents deemed as confidential should not be and cannot be shared externally. Then all users must add the Drive Label, “Confidential.” From that, you would have a DLP rule in place, preventing any documents with this particular label from being shared externally. This is a big step in keeping all your data safe. 

Additionally, admins can configure data protection rules that can automatically label files. Rules such as the restriction of external sharing of the files can be added to a particular label among other things.

There are many other security features present in Google Workspace which are highly beneficial for mid-level businesses. Reach out to us today to know them.

Drive Label Types

Google Drive has two different kinds of labels: badged and standard.

Badged Label

A badged label lets users apply an indicator that emphasises the most critical metadata of the file. This can be set and tailored to your organisation.

A very common example of the use of a badged label would be a label named File Sensitivity. This label can have field options that better explain the importance or sensitivity of the data that is contained in that file. Field options could range from Top Secret, Internal, Public, Private, or whatever fits your organisation. Each field option can be set to have its own unique badge colour, making it a lot easier to identify.

Standard Label

A standard label is a simple label that you can apply to files of the same project or type. It lets you find files in a much quicker and organised manner.

For example, you can create a standard label called Project 1 and apply it to all of the files that are associated with that project. Similarly, you can also apply a label called Contract to all of your contracts so you can easily find them. After applying the Contract label to all the contracts, you can be even more specific and assign the Contract’s status. You can label it as Draft, Awaiting Signature, Rejected, Signed, Expired, or whatever fits the description.

How to turn on Labels

  1. Go to the Admin console home page
  2. Go to Apps
  3. Click Google Workspace
  4. Click Drive and Docs
  5. Under Labels, click Turn Labels On
  6. Click Save
How to turn on Drive Labels

Once you click save, the status on the left should say ‘ON for all’.

Google Drive and Docs Drive Label Status

You can add labels and configure data protection rules by clicking on Manage Labels.

Manage Drive Labels

For more information about the new Labels from Google Drive, you can refer to the Google Workspace Admin Help page on Drive Labels.

Once you’ve set that up and you’ve added labels on your files, you can now properly sort through and find things that you need in Google Drive while also protecting your data from misuse and leaking.

Data is important when it comes to decision-making, especially when you’re an entrepreneur. Data loss or leaks can potentially cost your business much money and trust with your clients.

If you want to maximise your online security, Onsite Helper can help you. We have developed a comprehensive Google Workspace security audit that works for every IT system. Click here to run a FREE audit today and level up your Google Workspace security!

How to Save Money by Using Google Groups Collaborative Inbox

Businesses will always strive to find a way to increase revenue and profit margins. One of the most common ways to achieve this is by determining how a business can decrease its running costs. There are a lot of ways to reduce your running costs especially when you’re using Google Workspace for your business. Additionally, it’s not always about getting the cheapest product out there, sometimes, you just need to know the right configuration that fits your business and will save you money. In this article, Onsite Helper will show you how you can use the Google Groups Collaborative Inbox to save money.

Collaborative Inbox

Google Groups Collaborative Inbox

More often than not, businesses will have a shared or a common email address that a group of people can use. Common examples of these email addresses are “sales@”, “info@”, “contact@”, and more. You see most of these email addresses on websites. If that email is not of a name, chances are that it’s managed by a group.

Google Groups Collaborative Inbox

With Google Workspace, having an extra account for emails like that can cost a business (on the higher end) $540 per year per account ($45 per month). What if we told you that you can instead save that money and have the same system anyway? That’s where the Google Groups Collaborative Inbox truly helps.

Google Workspace has a lot of features very beneficial for mid-level businesses. As part of our commitment to the Google Workspace ecosystem, we have specifically developed a comprehensive Google Workspace security audit that works for every IT system. Run an audit today and get the best out of Google Workspace by clicking here.   

Google Workspace has a lot of features very beneficial for mid-level businesses. As part of our commitment to the Google Workspace ecosystem, we have specifically developed a comprehensive Google Workspace security audit that works for every IT system. Run an audit today and get the best out of Google Workspace by clicking here.   

How does it work?

Google Groups Collaborative Inbox

With a Collaborative Inbox, emails that are sent to info@ or support@ are properly distributed and tracked. Further, you can see who has taken responsibility for which email, work with your team for a particular task, and properly track the status for each task. Basically, with the right permissions, you are able to:

  • Take a conversation to respond to
  • Assign responsibility for a conversation to another group member
  • Mark conversations/tasks as “complete”, “duplicate”, or “no action needed”
  • Search for conversations according to resolution status
  • Search for conversations according to its assignee

How can I get started?

1. Create a Group

  • Sign in to your Google Groups account
  • Click “Create Group” in the upper-left corner
  • Enter the necessary information and click “Create Group”
  • Add members that you want to be a part of the group
Google Groups Create Group

2. Enable Conversation History

Before you can turn on the Google Groups Collaborative Inbox features, you need to enable the Conversation History. To do this:

  • Click the name of the group
  • Click “Group settings”
  • Go to “Posting policies”
  • Turn on Conversation History

3. Enable Collaborative Inbox

To enable the Collaborative Inbox of your Google Group, go back to the Group settings. Then, under “Enable additional Google Groups feature”, click “Collaborative Inbox”.

Once you’ve done that, you’ve successfully created a Google Groups Collaborative Inbox. Now, you just need to assign permissions to your members.

4. Assign permissions

Each permission allows you to do a different task. To properly utilise the Collaborative Inbox, you need to assign the right permissions to the right people. This is what you’re able to do with each Collaborative Inbox-specific permission:

Who can moderate metadata

  • Take a conversation
  • Assign or unassign a conversation
  • Mark a conversation as “completed”

Who can moderate content

  • Mark a conversation as “duplicate”
  • Mark a conversation as “no action needed”

Assigning and resolving a collaborative inbox conversation

If you have the right permissions, you can assign conversations to yourself or other members of the group. To do this:

  • Select one or multiple conversations by checking the box next to the name
    • Assign it to yourself by clicking “Take”
    • Assign it to a group member by clicking “Assign” and enter the assignee’s email address. You can also add a note if you want to.
    • You can also unassign a conversation by clicking “Drop”

To resolve a conversation:

  • Choose one or more conversations to resolve
  • At the top, you can choose to mark the conversation/s as complete, no action needed, or duplicate.

Mark the conversation as complete once the actions items related to the conversation is finished. If there’s nothing that needs to be done about the conversation, mark it as no action needed. Mark conversations as a duplicate if a conversation raising the same concern is already present. Doing so will lock the conversation so that you can perform any actions on it.

Collaborative Inbox Actions

Utilising the Google Groups Collaborative Inbox is that easy. Save your business a lot of money by making use of this Google Groups feature instead of paying for another account.

Collaboration among team members is one of the most important aspects of a business. It solves problems and it ushers to more innovation and success. It also fosters good communication and relationship among team members as they reach the organisation’s goals. 
Effortless collaboration to maximise productivity is what we aim for all our clients here at Onsite Helper. Reach the paramount success you deserve with us, talk to one of our team members now!

Risks and Benefits of Two-Factor Authentication and Two-Step Verification

The ultimate goal of IT security is protecting the assets, devices, and services from being stolen. Enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) on your account is one of the best pieces of security advice that you’ll get from Onsite Helper and any other computer expert that you ask. As much as possible, if the website that you use supports two-factor authentication, enable and set it up correctly. Doing so will drastically improve your overall IT security especially now that password leaks and breaches are becoming more common.

Laptop and mobile security

How can a simple act of enabling two-factor authentication on your account protect your data, information, and identity from being compromised? How exactly does it work? Are there any benefits in disabling them?

Onsite Helper will tackle the benefits of two-factor authentication and the risks of turning it off in this guide about two-factor authentication.

If you want to protect your friends and family from unhealthy IT security practices and the risk of being hacked, share this blog with them!

And if you want to build the most solid security for your company today, click this and get in touch with one of our experts. 

5 things you need to know about two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a fairly new feature in the facet of IT security. Most of the websites you visit and the accounts you use already support this feature. What exactly is it? How does it work? What should you do? Let’s find out.

1. Two-factor authentication and two-step verification: are they the same?

Thinking that both of those are one and the same is a common misconception. To understand the difference, we first need to understand authentication factors.

There are three types of authentication factors:

  • Something you know – passwords, pins
  • Something you have – mobile phone, unique USB key
  • Lastly, Something you are – fingerprint, biometrics

Finally, we can now easily differentiate between two-factor authentication and two-step verification.

Two-factor authentication combines two different authentication factors; for example, a fingerprint scan and a pin. On the other hand, two-step verification (2SV) utilises the same authentication factor twice. For example, a password and one-time-pin (OTP) sent to your mobile device.

You might think that an OTP can be classified as “something you have” since it’s sent to your mobile phone. However, from a security point of view, SMS is insecure. Your phone can be compromised and the messages can be intercepted – that makes it similar to a password.

Two-factor authentication is definitely more secure than two-step verification. Regardless of which security feature your account offers, it’s best to take advantage of it.

2. You MUST use it in your emails

In most cases, your email is your gateway to every other account that you have – that is why your email must have the utmost security. On top of protecting your different online accounts, it’s also home to a lot of your private information and conversations.

If hackers have access to your email, they can easily find old registration emails that you have with other accounts and use that information to target your other online accounts. As a result, they can easily change the passwords to your accounts. Next thing you know, you don’t have access to any of them anymore.

If you haven’t already, set up your two-factor authentication or two-step verification in your emails. Large email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook offer this.

Protect your account with 2-step verification

3. Increase security by using a password manager

Hopefully, you’ve followed what’s written on number 2 already. If so, you might be thinking “now what?”

We can further improve the security of your online accounts and overall IT security by using a Password Manager. Password managers add an extra layer of security and encryption to your passwords on top of having a two-factor authentication option. Moreover, you can enable the two-factor authentication on your password manager and on your accounts as well. Here are some of the most popular sites and services that support two-factor authentication:

Password manager

4. Should you TRUST that device?

Most websites and services that support two-factor authentication also have a feature that allows you to mark the device you use as a “trusted device”. This may be expressed in the form of:

  • “Remember this computer…”
  • “Trust this device…”
  • “Don’t ask again on this computer…”

Google 2-Step Verification

Marking a device as a “trusted device” is similar to disabling the two-factor authentication for that device. It allows you to log in to your account using only your password so long as you use that device.

From a usability standpoint, it makes sense to do this. From a security perspective, however, it’s not great. If you lose your trusted device, you can’t be too certain that thieves or hackers can’t use that to access your account. With that said, most websites allow you to revoke all of the trusted statuses that you gave your devices. Using this particular feature is solely up to you, that’s why you need to know the trade-off.

Revoke all devices you trust

5. What if I lock myself out of my account?

More often than not, your phone will be integral to your two-factor authentication experience. From receiving OTPs and getting unique codes from apps like the Google Authenticator, you’ll be using your phone for all these. What happens if you lose your phone? Are you just permanently locked out of your accounts? Not really – the good news is that most websites and services are prepared with contingency plans in the event that you actually do lose possession or access to your phone by any means.

For account recovery, some websites and services allow you to set a backup phone number. Others provide backup codes that you can print or store offline in the event that you lose your source for authentication. If that doesn’t help, you can always call a particular service’s technical support representative and prove that the account is yours. With that said, it’s very rare for you to be completely locked out of your own account.

Google Backup codes

Are there any benefits to keeping your two-factor authentication disabled?

Short answer: No

Sure, you can argue that logins will be smoother and quicker without two-factor authentication, but the level of usability isn’t worth trading over a much-secured account.

Disabling two-factor authentication for your accounts would mean that it’ll be much easier for people to access your accounts – unfortunately, that includes potential hackers and attackers. This applies to personal accounts but more so to business accounts as you’ll be putting your business’ data on the line when you disable 2FA.

What are the alternatives to turning off two-factor authentication?

Oftentimes, when working on a large project or with a third-party IT support provider, you need some people to be able to easily access your business accounts. We, at Onsite Helper, often get requests from clients to disable their two-factor authentication. We highly discourage this practice as this will put their system and data at risk. Additionally, there’s a big chance that they would forget to enable their two-factor authentication after the project – keeping their data vulnerable to attacks.

Instead of turning off two-factor authentication for your accounts, you can provide one-time access codes to the trusted person who needs to access your accounts. The beauty of these one-time access codes is that you don’t have to disable two-factor authentication and the people that need to access your accounts can still easily access them.

Another thing you can do is to share your inbox in the safest way possible. Businesses commonly set up a central email account whereby a number of staff have access and manage the account. This is most used in sales or technical support teams since multiple users and multiple access happen here for managing queries and workflows. The central emails created are usually sales@ or support@. To learn more about this you can read our article here

Here at Onsite Helper

We always highly recommend to our clients that they keep their two-factor authentication and two-step verification on. We’ve had several clients ask us to turn off the 2SV for their account and for the rest of the employees. This is often the case when they are working on a large task. We do not recommend this practice as companies would often forget to turn on their 2SV once they’ve done the task that they had to do and they are left vulnerable to attacks.

We have also devised our very own security audit that aims to boost your organisation’s productivity by checking your system’s vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities/issues may lead to data loss. Speak to one of our team members today!

If you really want to disable the two-factor authentication and two-step verification for a particular account, you can create an exceptions group and move it there.
If you are using Google Workspace for your business and you want to make sure that your security is uptight, you can read see 5 tips to lockdown your Google Workspace security or contact Onsite Helper for further help.

Things That Could Go Wrong in Google Workspace Migrations and How to Mitigate Them

When we say system migration, it’s a tremendously tedious procedure or method in which all business process IT resources are transferred from one platform to another–whether it’s a software platform or hardware infrastructure. Does that sound like a large task to execute? Well, you’re not exactly wrong. Especially when you take it to the context of full system Google Workspace migrations.

systems migrations

Take for instance, migrating the data of your business from Microsoft Office 365 platform to Google Workspace.  All the parties involved really need to be careful and follow a strict protocol, not only because sensitive data is involved, but one fatal error in the migration process could cost you a lot, like the trust of your clients and significant amounts of time and money.

For this reason, you really need to do your own research and ask for the aid of professionals and experts when it comes to the field of migrations. 

Onsite Helper, the Google Workspace experts, has been migrating business systems to Google Workspace all over Australia for years. We have already encountered every problem one can encounter in a migration process and learned how to properly address these problems – basically, Onsite Helper has mastered the craft of Google Workspace migrations.

To help ease your minds about the things that can go wrong during the migration process of your business’ data and system, Onsite Helper has made the ultimate guide on what to prepare for, what to look out for, how to reduce the likelihood of errors occurring during the migration, and everything else that you need to know about the migration process.

And of course, to know how transferring to Google Workspace will help boost your business’ capacity check this out! 

Problems that can occur when migrating and how to mitigate them

Clients changing their minds

One factor that can really delay the migration is the client’s last-minute changes. Even when the parties involved already agreed upon a concrete plan, some clients can’t help but change something during the migration. This can really set things back since you can’t change the migration settings once it’s already ongoing. Additionally, if the client has set a strict deadline, changes in the plan can cause you to miss the set deadline.

Solution: Emphasise the importance of sticking to the plan for the client. At the same time, make sure that the client understands the whole process and effects of the migration to their business. 

As for the part of the client, communication is key. The client should be able to communicate the desired goal to the migration partner so that changing the plan in the middle of the migration process will be avoided.

Users uploading large amounts of data while in migration

While the migration is ongoing, you can still use your old system. Your old email can still send and receive emails, you can still store files on your company drives, and it won’t affect the migration process. Rest assured that after the whole migration process, all of the emails and data you saved while the migration was ongoing will still be migrated.

But here’s where the problem occurs: when someone stores hundreds of gigabytes or terabytes of data. Uploading data that large to your drive and wanting to have that migrated will drastically increase the expected time for the whole migration process to finish. If your company expects the migration to finish on a set deadline, you’re likely to exceed that deadline when you upload large chunks of data.

Solution: It’s best to upload and work on small amounts of data during the migration (e.g. emails, spreadsheets, word documents). When you really need to upload data with a large size, it’s advisable to upload it on the new system instead once the migration is complete.

3rd-party IT provider and Security restrictions

3rd-party IT providers can often cause a lot of delays due to miscommunication. Oftentimes, clients would have to talk to their IT provider first to get their credentials. Unfortunately, it’s not always readily available.

In worse cases, the 3rd-party IT provider won’t give the migration partner like us, Onsite Helper access to the necessary credentials to change some configuration or settings that are required for the migration to occur. It’s very time consuming to have to communicate with the IT provider the changes that you need to integrate in order for the migration to happen.

Solution: As a client, you should get your credentials from your IT provider ahead of time. If possible, tell them to let your migration partner access and change the necessary configurations for a much quicker and smoother migration.

Not all of your data was migrated

We’ve heard stories about clients being agitated after the migration process once they found out that some of their data weren’t migrated to their new system. The truth of the matter is that some of your data won’t be migrated from your old system to the new one. This is due to the API limitations. The type of data that can’t be migrated would depend on your source system and destination system.

This becomes a big problem when the client doesn’t fully understand that there are limitations and that is the nature of migrations.

Solution: As a client, make sure that you communicate well with your migration partner. Mention your expectations in full detail and take note of the limitations of the process. With Onsite Helper, it’s standard practice for us to fully inform our clients about the full scope and limitations of the migration process.

Preparation is everything

Google Workspace migration is a process, and as with any process, the best way to ensure its success is to properly plan it. The key to a successful Google Workspace migration is thorough planning and preparation. This is why before the migration process, your Google partner should discuss with you the full scope of the migration. With Onsite Helper, we take pride in the level of communication that we have with our clients to ensure that we are all on the same page and that their data will be safe.

 

During the discussion, it’s important to talk about:

  • The Goal of the Google Workspace migration
  • Limitations of the migration process
  • Duration of the migration process from start to finish
  • Scope of the services of Onsite Helper or your Google partner
  • Necessary credentials for the migration to take place

The Goal of the Google Workspace migration

Before you embark on migrating all of your data from one system to Google Workspace or vice versa, make sure that you understand exactly what is going to happen. Here are some questions that might better help you understand your goals:

  • How would this migration improve my business?
  • How can this migration help my employees?
  • What problems in my system can this migration address?

Onsite Helper or your Google partner should be able to help you answer these questions, and if it’s decided that the Google Workspace migration will help achieve your goals, we can now proceed.

Limitations of the migration process

Not all of your data can be migrated – this should be made clear to you by your Google Partner. Not every type of information can be migrated due to API limitations from either the source system or the destination system. However, with that said, some data can be converted to a version that is compatible with the destination system. (e.g. Google Docs in Google Drive or Microsoft Word in OneDrive)

Normally, if Onsite Helper will do the migration for you, we will provide you with a list of all of the information that can and cannot be migrated to Google Workspace or to your system of choice. To give you an idea, here are a few examples of data you cannot migrate from the following systems to another:

  • Microsoft Office 365
    • Mail settings such as colour-coding for categories, server-based and dynamic distribution lists, and personal MRM tags
    • Calendar notifications for invitations or cancellations
    • Contacts categories
  • Google Workspace
    • Calendar reminders
    • Google Keep Notes
    • Google Analytics
    • Youtube Account
  • Dropbox
    • Notes
    • Bookmarks
    • Tags

Should you need more information, feel free to contact Onsite Helper. We can help you with your migration every step of the way.

Duration of the migration process

The duration of the migration will depend on several factors, such as the size of data to be migrated, server availability, Google or Microsoft daily upload limit, and more.

With that said, no one can really tell exactly how long the whole migration process will take. At best, here at Onsite Helper, we will be able to give you a range. We’ll be open, transparent, and we will keep you updated on any changes during the migration process so you’ll have a more accurate estimate of when the migration will finish.

Scope of Service

Make sure that the scope of your migration specialist is clear so that no one will be expecting more or less. Will there be training included after the migration? Who’s going to check the status of the system post-migration? These are just some of the questions that should be answered. With Onsite Helper, we’ll be providing you with a checklist to make sure that every facet of the migration has been completed. At the same time, we can provide the necessary guides to help you and your employees adjust to the new system that you migrated into. Rest assured that you will not be feeling lost and business will be back to normal when you’re with Onsite Helper.

Necessary credentials for the migration

One factor that can really prolong the migration process is the necessary credentials or the lack thereof. Often, the whole Google Workspace migration process has already been planned and mapped out but we cannot start with the migration because the credentials required are unavailable. It’s troublesome when no one remembers the credentials and time-consuming when clients still have to talk to 3rd-party IT support to ask for their system’s credentials.

Having your credentials ready will drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to do the migration. Make sure you have it already or look for it ahead of time if you plan on doing a migration.

It’s fair to say that conducting system migrations is really stressful. But hey, this is what we exist for! Onsite Helper always tries to give you the smoothest and efficient migration of all your business data. 

Not only that, but we also ensure that after migration, you are well-equipped in doing important things on Google Workspace. Get the best out of Google Workspace by clicking here. 

Onsite Helper has been a friend to many businesses. So, for any concerns and questions, feel free to contact us.

How to Reduce Your Google Workspace Costs

Every business or organisation, one way or the other, always tries to find a way to reduce its costs. Realistically, this will increase business owners’ profitability. So when reducing costs, labour-related expenses are typically the first to look at. And under this facet, we have Google Workspace costs.

Many businesses are actually spending more than they should with Google Workspace and they don’t even know it. This could be for a number of reasons such as the lack of periodic account check-ups, not getting good deals, having, and inactive accounts.

Google Workspace

Today, Onsite Helper has compiled the most important tips on how you can lower your Google Workspace costs that may help you save more money for your business.

1. Get a better Google Workspace cost from a Google Partner

When you get your Google Workspace plans directly from Google, you might not always be getting the best price for you and your business. Additionally, subscribing to a Google Workspace plan without any guidance might just end up costing you more than helping you.

Some businesses tend to just go for the cheapest plan without knowing that the next level of license is actually more beneficial for their business. On the other hand, some businesses also get too much–ending up with having too many unnecessary features with a high bill to pair with it.

To make sure that you’re getting the best help that you can and you’re getting the best value for your buck, get help from a Google Partner like Onsite Helper. We can help you pick the best  Google Workspace plan for your needs, and at the same time, we can cut deals that you can’t usually avail of if you’ve done the whole thing yourself.

Just recently, G Suite changed to Google Workspace and so did the plans. Many businesses have been moved to a new plan which may have some changes integrated. Such changes are the prohibition of recording their video meetings, the new limit on the number of emails/data they can store, and the new way of how archive and retention work in Google Vault. Onsite Helper was successful in getting significant discounts on licenses (up to 40% off) when changing to the new plans.

On top of that, you won’t be overwhelmed by the scale and features that Google Workspace offers because Google Partners like Onsite Helper will be able to handle them for you. Get the full support of a Google Partner from choosing the right plan, migrating your business system to Google Workspace, and integrating the Google Workspace ecosystem to your business!

Need a Google Partner? Talk to Onsite Helper Today

Onsite Helper has been helping businesses in Australia with their Google Workspace and Managed IT systemsOnsite Helper’s Google Workspace experts can help you and your business with anything Google Workspace. Do you need to downgrade, upgrade, or migrate? Feel free to contact us with any concerns that you may have. Onsite Helper is happy to help.

We also provide an in-depth Google Workspace Security Audit, ensuring that any issues of vulnerabilities in your system which may lead to data loss and excess costs will be addressed and resolved.

2. Delete or migrate the accounts you don’t need

As the Google Workspace Admin, you really need to keep your accounts in check. One of the biggest concerns that most businesses have with deleting accounts is that they might need some information in the future that is on that account.

If you have many accounts, it can be difficult to determine which are active or inactive. The system we use is to export the list of user accounts into a google sheet, then sort by last login date. We create a list of the users who haven’t logged in for over a month, then check each user’s email logs to confirm if there have been no emails sent during this period. With that, you can archive and delete the accounts that have been inactive.

With Google Workspace, you can organize accounts like that and minimize clutter by migrating the information on inactive accounts or accounts of old employees. For example, you can create an account named “archivedaccounts@domain.com” and migrate all business information from any of your workforce’s old accounts there. That way, whenever you need information that an old employee might have, you know exactly where to look and you don’t have to keep a lot of inactive accounts for it.

If the old accounts are still receiving new emails, you can just have it set up, making those emails and even new ones to be automatically sent to the email address “archivedaccounts@domain.com.” If setups like this seem complicated for you, Google Workspace experts from Onsite Helper will be able to quickly help you.

3. Convert shared email accounts into free collaborative inboxes

Group owners and managers can create a collaborative Inbox for their groups, where members can take and assign tasks. With the ability to create a collaborative Inbox, group owners and managers can easily share and collaborate with their teams.

Examples of shared inboxes are those from generic email accounts like sales@, info@, and accounts@. If you have these paid email accounts and are constantly being used and managed by others in your organisation, then it would be wise to have them converted into Group collaborative inboxes. You’ll achieve the same results without high costs.

How does it work?

Google Group’s Collaborative Inbox allows you to do the following if you have the correct permissions:

  • Take a conversation that your group members responded to
  • Assign the responsibility for a conversation to another member of the group
  • Mark a conversation as complete, duplicate, or indicate if no action is necessary
  • Search conversations according to the resolution status or the assignee

How can you make a group Collaborative Inbox?

  1. Create a Group
  2. Add members who will assign and track conversations to your Google Group
  3. Turn on Collaborative Inbox features in your Google Group
  4. Assign the right permissions to each member

4. Use domain alias

Google Admin Manage domains

If you’re changing your domain name from “olddomain.com” to “newdomain.com,” you might try to create new accounts on the new domain. The problem arises when you’d still want to keep your accounts on the old domain – giving your employees two accounts and two email addresses. That setup will only cost you double since you’d be doubling your number of accounts.

 

A better solution would be to utilise domain aliases. If you add the new domain as a domain alias, you can set it up in such a way that you can still send and receive emails using both old and new domains, but only be under one account – allowing you to have two email addresses at no additional cost.

5. Use user aliases

Google Workspace User aliases

This next tip is somewhat similar to the previous one. The difference is that when you use a domain alias, you create multiple email addresses for all of the users. With user aliases, it’ll only affect the users that need it. 

Let’s say that you have two companies with domains “phonecompany.com” and “foodcompany.com”. Obviously, employees working in their respective companies would get the appropriate email addresses. However, what about the people that are involved in both of the companies? That’s where a user alias becomes useful. In this situation, instead of having two accounts of the people working on both companies, you can set up a user alias. A user alias gives a user an alternate email address for receiving emails without the need for an additional account. For example, you can have an alias like “board@management.com” or “support@management.com”.

6. Invest in your IT hardware by using Chrome OS

Chrome OS Google Chromebook

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a working computer is comprised of the cost of the following:

  • Computer hardware and OS used (e.g. Windows laptop or a Macbook)
  • Office operations software (e.g. Microsoft Office)
  • Security software (e.g. antivirus, firewall, spam protection)
  • Backup software or device (e.g. external hard drive)
  • Computer maintenance
  • Downtime due to reboots and slow performance
  • IT support

Putting all of these into consideration, the TCO of a typical working computer is more than what you think. To mitigate this, Google offers the Google Chromebook that runs on Chrome OS. 

Google’s Chromebook can save businesses up to 50% on the TCO for the IT department alone. Chromebooks are simple to use, they are extremely fast, they’re built for businesses, it operates mostly on the cloud, and it has a lot of built-in security features. It requires little-to-no maintenance and it can add so much value to the system of your business. 

If you’re worried about using Google Workspace because you’ve been using Microsoft Office, don’t be! You can learn how to use Google Workspace to open Microsoft Office files here.

 

Learn how you can know if Chrome OS will work well with your business with Google’s CRIS or Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard. And if you want to know more about the security features of Chrome OS, read Onsite Helper’s article on the most secure OS.


Want to know more about Google Chromebooks and Chrome OS? Have a 30-day trial and see how it works for your business!

There you have it, you can now reduce your Google Workspace costs

5 different tips that will help you and your business save costs by reducing your Google Workspace fees. If you are in Australia and you are in need of Google Workspace experts to come and audit your IT system, speak to us today and fill up our form here

 

We will provide you with a FREE top-to-bottom audit of your IT system and make sure that you are getting the most out of Google Workspace for your business.


For any questions and concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Onsite Helper.

Is Moving to Google Chrome Environment the Next Step for Your Business?

Has the thought of migrating your business organisation’s existing IT system to Google Chrome environment ever crossed your mind? Or have you thought of using Chrome devices in doing your business? One of the things you’re probably wondering and worried about are the challenges your business will face. There will definitely be challenges as everything undergoes a transition to Google Chrome Ecosystem. 


Well, let’s talk about the possible challenges you might face when moving your business system to the Google Chrome environment. Additionally, we’ll also discuss CRIS or Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard, a scorecard made by Google, which simplifies the estimation of whether the transition will be easy, hard, or will it be a right fit for your business altogether.

Google Chrome Browser

While there are a lot of benefits for businesses to use Chrome OS, OS migrations are challenging for everyone – from the IT department to the users.

You can rely on Google Chrome when wanting your business to enjoy the benefits of the Google ecosystem without having to go through Chrome OS migrations. Additionally, Google Chrome allows you to utilise the wide range of tools, apps, and cloud storage that Google has. Access your business’ important data and apps without compromising your speed and security.

Moreover, Google Chrome can be used on all operating systems and different devices. So, how does Google Chrome help businesses keep their productivity up without having to worry about security and downtime?

Google Chrome

Seamless migration

OS migration takes time. If your business doesn’t have the luxury of allotting a significant amount of time to migrate to Chrome OS, you can have the Google ecosystem experience by simply using Google Chrome for your business.

You won’t have to worry about mass browser configuration for every user. Why? You can quickly configure important security settings to the new environment regardless of the device or operating system used.

Simple group management

Google Chrome works with Active Directory and Group Policy. This feature greatly simplifies management for admins or IT teams using existing management tools. On top of that, it also simplified deployment, making it easy and fast to deploy and update on all the computers in the domain.

This allows Chrome to work well with an existing network of Microsoft Windows Servers, Windows computers, and even Apple devices in a hybrid environment. Users would be free to choose whichever device they would like to use.

Work continuity

With Google Chrome, users can easily continue their work right where they left off. You won’t have to worry about compatibility issues because, with Google Chrome, you can take your work on your phone or on your PC regardless of the OS that you use.

Google Chrome’s interface on different devices and OS are intuitive and almost exactly the same. This is great because it preserves the OS experience – allowing you to jump straight back to work as long as you have Google Chrome. At the same time, migrating your settings, bookmarks, extensions, and more is very easy.

This can all be centrally managed for the organisation using Chrome Management. Onsite Helper, your Google Workspace Partner, or your Managed Services provider (MSP) can help deploy and support this for your organisation.

Tight security

Management will be able to more easily keep a close eye on the security of the business system by having every user use the same browser. Security can be centrally managed via the Google Admin console. This is one more thing that a Managed service provider like Onsite Helper can greatly help your company with. Even if the users are on a different OS, the migration process and proceeding work after that will be smooth and secure.

How Google Chrome Environment Addresses Enterprise Challenges

User and data security

  • Sandboxing and site isolation – Google Chrome automatically isolates tabs and processes to contain potential threats even before they can spread or deal irreversible damage to the user’s device and data.
  • Policy migration – Google Chrome has over 300+ security policies and configurations that are easy to use and migrate.
  • Managed and automatic updates – Google Chrome is regularly updated to keep the browser protected from any possible attacks from unknown vulnerabilities.

Ease of use for employees

  • Chrome Sync – your browser settings, bookmarks, extensions, history, and apps can easily be synchronized with any device and any operating system. It can be centrally managed by your IT team or you can have a Google Workspace partner like Onsite Helper to take care of that for your business.
  • Cross-platform support – There’s no need to worry about whether or not you can work on a particular device because the Google Chrome environment is compatible with Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, Linux, and mobile users. This allows for a very consistent yet versatile working environment.
Google Chrome environment

Central management

  • Active Directory and Group policy support – this allows admins to easily implement browser policies, saving time on complicated IT configurations.
  • Cloud management – easily manage settings and browser security policies across any and all Chrome users in the organisation.

Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard (CRIS)

Google has developed a tool called the Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard that will tell you how easy it would be to deploy Chrome in your organisation.  It’s mostly based on how Cloud-Ready all your software and devices are. You’ll find that some software or devices (most likely older technology) are not “Cloud-Ready”. If these items are critical or too costly to replace then you may not want to pursue Chrome any further. If you are “Cloud-Ready” then you can enjoy implementing Chrome and benefit from the reduction in IT costs, better security and simplified IT administration

The Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard (CRIS) is composed of high-level technical questions that are designed to determine your readiness for Chrome OS. The questions are to be answered with a score of 0-3 in relation to your current working environment.After answering the questions, you will be presented with a score that represents your business’ readiness for Chrome OS migration. You can access CRIS through this link.

What can the Chrome Readiness IT Scorecard do for you?

  • Identify whether Chrome OS would be a good fit for your business
  • Determine the potential difficulty of migrating your business to Chrome OS
  • Show the significant considerations for a successful Chrome OS migration

Interpreting the CRIS Score

Once you have access to the CRIS tool, you will be prompted to select a language to use. After that, you will be asked to answer CRIS with scores that closely match your working environment. Then, your overall score will be shown on the SCORECARD sheet.

Chome Readiness IT scorecard

How would you then interpret the scores that you get? If you get:

  • 0-40%, you got a LOW score which means that you are not ready to deploy or migrate to Chrome OS.
  • 40-70%, you got a MIDDLE score which means that there will be slight complications in the migration; therefore, a plan must be prepared to increase your CRIS score.
  • 70-100%, you got a HIGH score. This means that you will not face any major technical challenges when you migrate to Chrome OS.

For More Google-related Help

Onsite Helper, the leading expert in managed IT systems, is just a click away!

Onsite Helper holds true to its promise of ensuring that all hardware and operating systems of different business organisations are smoothly running, regularly monitored, and well-protected from any potential threats. Thus, securing all information and data.

With this, Onsite Helper has devised an enterprise-level Chrome and Google Workspace Security Audit that boosts your organisation’s productivity by checking your system’s vulnerabilities and issues which may lead to data loss, potentially costing you much money.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Onsite Helper.

How to Check if Your Password Has Been Leaked Online

Hackers, malware, and other ways to exploit vulnerabilities are constantly evolving. With every development in IT security, a hacker somewhere out there will try and beat it. Hackers have no remorse, they’d target small, medium, and large businesses. Considering the increasing number of cyberattacks or hacks on different businesses yearly, it puts a really strong emphasis on IT security. As a result, you should regularly check if your password has been leaked online.

 

As a business owner, you want to make sure that you’re ahead of the game. Secure every vulnerability that you find, invest in proper IT security, ask for a security audit for your business, lastly, get a professional to manage your IT systems and security. Do all of these things and you’re less likely to suffer a cyberattack, causing you to potentially lose clients, sales, and more.

Additionally, always bear in mind that it’s a requirement now to report if you get hacked. Otherwise, you may face significant fines. Read more about Australian Privacy laws here. And if ever, you get unfortunately hacked, know the first things you should do by reading one of our articles here.

Companies that suffered data breaches

Just these past few years, several big companies have suffered data breaches because of hacking or poor security practices. Here are a few examples:

IT systems security lifehack

Want to know a quick and effective way of knowing your IT system’s issues and vulnerabilities? Want to know how to improve your IT security without doing too much work?

Run Onsite Helper’s Enterprise Level Google Workspace Security Audit today! It aims to identify and address any risks or threats present in your organisation’s IT system. We value data protection and IT security across all devices, whether desktop, laptop, or mobile.

Check if your information or password has been leaked

With the amount of information that is being leaked to the public, your personal information and passwords might be out there without you knowing about it. If you want to know whether or not your information leaked already, you can use these websites and tools.

Have I Been Pwned?

Have I Been Pwned is a searchable data breach database. It is the biggest and most popular way of finding out if your credentials leaked. Troy Hunt, Microsoft regional director, created the database back in December of 2013. It has over 150,000 daily visitors, 3 million email subscribers, and data of over 9 billion compromised accounts.

To check if your password has been leaked, you simply need to enter your email address or mobile number. Within seconds, the website will check whether the information you’ve given has appeared on any data breaches from numerous sources. There’s no risk in using the site because your email or phone number aren’t stored.

Have I Been Pwned

DeHashed

DeHashed works the same way as Have I Been Pwned does except that it doesn’t just focus on your email address.

When you visit DeHashed, you’re greeted with a search bar that prompts you to “Search for anything…” and this is true. With DeHashed, you’ll be able to check if your email, username, IP address, name, address, phone number, and VIN has been compromised. On top of that, they also do domain scans.

With that said, it should be noted that DeHashed isn’t entirely free service. Some of the results of your search will be censored unless you avail of one of their subscriptions.

DeHashed

BreachAlarm

Another alternative to Have I Been Pwned is BreachAlarm. You can check if your email has been compromised for free here. However, similar to DeHashed, they also offer paid subscriptions for their protective services.

BreachAlarm

Sucuri Security Scanner

Sucuri Security Scanner scans your website for any malware and viruses, it detects any security issues that your website might have and checks your website’s blacklist status.

This is a great tool to use if you want to make sure that your website is not blacklisted by website security authorities such as Google. Sucuri Security Scanner is effective in checking your website for any malicious code, security anomalies, configuration issues, and more.

Sucuri Security Scanner

How can you protect your information and passwords?

Have a secure password

To have a secure password, you need to make sure that your password is unique and unpredictable. If you can see your password in this list of Top 100 worst passwords, your IT security is in its worst possible state and you should change your password right now!

Also, it’s important to have a different password for every website or account that you use. This is to make sure that if one account is compromised, your other accounts remain secure.

Google 2-step verification

To add a layer of security to your Google accounts and IT security, make sure that you enable the Google 2-step verification process so that you won’t have to simply rely solely on your password when logging in.

The Google 2-step verification allows you to input other secure information via your mobile phone or other means to make sure that the one that’s trying to access your Google account is you. At the same time, you’ll get notifications about your login attempts. So, when you see a suspicious login attempt, change your password right away.

Google Authenticator app 6-digit code

If your business uses Google Workspace, you’re in luck because Google Workspace offers a lot of security features. If you want to know how to lock down your Google Workspace for really strong security, read here.

Use Google Chrome web browser

When it comes to security audits and password security, Google has been at the forefront of it. Google Chrome’s password checkup feature allows you to immediately check if your password has been compromised. On top of that, even if you don’t save your passwords on your Google Chrome browser, Google will warn you if your password gets stolen.

Google Chrome browser

Use LastPass

LastPass is a password management system that allows you to generate a very secure and random password for your accounts or for every site that you use. You won’t have to worry about remembering highly complicated passwords because LastPass will do it for you. At the same time, similar to Google, LastPass also features a 2-step verification process to reduce the risk of your accounts of logins being compromised.

LastPass - securely store passwords

Have a full IT security audit

Have a team of Onsite Helper professionals closely monitor your entire IT system to be aware of any vulnerabilities, issues, and points of concern that might hinder your organisation in attaining its full productivity.

At the same time, Onsite Helper provides effective solutions and recommendations to mitigate and address the vulnerabilities and improve your overall IT security.

To protect your business’ IT system, contact Onsite Helper or 

New Google Meet Hardware For Better Collaboration

Do you love using Google Meet for work and leisure, at home, in your office, in a cafe, or anywhere? You’re in luck! Google recently announced two new Google Meet hardware devices that will level up your Google Meet experience.

The new series One Desk 27 and One Board 65 are Google Meet’s new video conferencing devices. Let’s find out more about these in this article!

Series One Desk 27

The Series One Desk 27 is Google’s all-in-one touchscreen collaboration device that’s specifically built for Google Meet. It’s made by Avocor and is part of the Series One program.

As implied by its name, the Series One Desk 27 features a 27-inch touchscreen display. It comes with custom mics, speakers, and a camera best for video conferencing. On top of being a Google Meet device on its own, it also doubles as a monitor. In addition, the ports on this device include a USB-A, USB-C, and HDMI.

Aside from being powered by Chrome OS to meet its Google Meet requirements, the Series One Desk 27 is unlike any traditional all-in-one computer. The 27-inch touchscreen features a 1440p, 16:9 display. It’s capable of automatically adjusting the colour and brightness for ambient lighting conditions. Moreover, it comes with a stylus that doubles as a whiteboard.

Series One Desk 27

You can add the Series One Desk 27 to your Google Workspace work-from-home setup. However, word of warning, it’s going to cost you more bucks than you’ve expected. Why? Google’s vision for the Series One Desk 27, is to have them wall-mounted in conference rooms where group meetings will be held. Lastly, this 27-inch touchscreen device is definitely more enterprise-focused being priced at $1,999.

Series One Desk 27

Series One Board 65

The Series One Board 65 is a 65” 4K video conferencing hardware. It can quickly turn any room into a space for productive video collaboration. This device is a great addition to your Google Workspace setup. Moreover, it features a built-in Jamboard app that is best for easy collaboration with colleagues. In addition, it can be paired with a stylish mobile stand allowing you to place the Series One Board 65 pretty much anywhere in a room.

Series One Board 65

Also built by Avocor, the Series One Board 65 provides a crystal clear display with its 65” UHD LCD screen. Freely sketch, annotate, and whiteboard the touchscreen display using the 2 ultra-low-latency passive styluses or your fingers. Additionally, the built-in Google AI automatically frames the participants of the meetings clearly with the 12-megapixel camera.

Series One Board 65

Other New Google Meet Devices

On top of the new Series One Desk 27 and new Series One Board 65, Google also announced new 3rd-party devices that are joining the Google Meet hardware ecosystem. Google has certified Logitech’s Rally Bar and Rally Bar Mini for Google Meet. Both will allow you to use them directly for Google Meet, with no necessary integration or attachment to a computer or laptop.

Logitech Rally Bar

Moreover, Appcessori is launching the Rayz Rally Pro – a new mobile device speaker. This will automatically enhance the audio experience of your video conferences using Google Meet.

Rayz Rally Pro designed for Google Meet

For smooth management of your Google-powered devices, or if you need some help with them, Onsite Helper is just a click away! 

Onsite Helper holds true to its promise of ensuring that all hardware and operating systems of different business organisations are smoothly running, regularly monitored, and well-protected from any potential threats. Thus, securing all information and data.

How to Set Up Google Drive for Business

So you’ve been running your own system for your business’s file storage and sharing for a while now and perhaps you’re looking for a much better system. Perhaps you already have a file server service in place, either on-premises like a Windows server or a Network Attached Server (NAS). Or you could be using cloud solutions for your file storage like Dropbox, SharePoint, etc. One way or another, you’ve heard about Google Drive and how it can help you and your business. If you want to know more about Google Workspace and how to set up Google Drive for your business, you’ve come to the right place.

Google Drive and Google Workspace are Google’s answers to keeping your whole business organized. The system of collaboration and seamless file sharing makes Google Workspace and Google Drive the ideal tools for growing your business.

Onsite Helper provides you with everything you need to know about using Google Drive for your business and how to set it up once you’ve signed up for Google Workspace.

Recommended Google Drive setup steps to follow

Signing up for a Google Workspace plan includes the use of Gmail, Google Drive, Meet, Calendar, Chat, Currents, Jamboard, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Sites, and Google Forms.

Not only that, signing up for Google Workspace allows you to enjoy the benefits that Google Drive has in store for admins and/or business owners. But of course, before we can start, you need to make sure that you’ve already added your team to the Admin console. Once that’s done, you can start to follow the list of steps that we have prepared for you here:

  1. Upload company files to Google Drive
  2. Configure each users’ or the team’s sharing permissions
  3. Synchronise the files on your Google Drive to your devices or computers
  4. Install Google Apps on your phones or tablets
  5. Train your team on how to use Google Drive correctly

1. Upload company files to Google

You and your team can upload any type of file to Google Drive. If your business has been using Microsoft Office files before migrating to Google Workspace, you can still upload those files. You have the option to convert your Microsoft Office files to the Google format or just use Google Drive to open and edit your Microsoft Office files.

Moving forward, however, to enjoy the seamless collaborative features of Google Drive, it is recommended that you use Google’s document editors such as Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

Google Drive File Upload

Google Drive file storage

The storage for every user is shared between that user’s Google Drive, Gmail, and other Google Products.

The storage size that each user can get depends on the type of account that they’re a part of. For example, if you’ve subscribed to a Business Starter plan, each user gets to use up to 30 GB of free storage; for Enterprise plans, each user can use as much storage as they need. 

Want to know more about the corresponding storage size for every type of account? Click here.

Google Drive Storage

Google Drive security

You can upload any file type to Google Drive. All files, uploaded or converted, are all subject to the same content policy.

Before files from your Google Drive can be downloaded or shared, Google automatically scans the file for viruses and malware. This is applicable for files that are smaller than 100 MB.

If Google detects a problem with a particular file in your Google Drive, Google will immediately inform you and access to that file will automatically be blocked for the protection of the users. However, users can still download it after acknowledging the potential dangers of downloading the file.

2. Configure each users’ or the team’s sharing permissions

Administrators are able to configure how users can share different files and folders in Google Drive. This is useful if there are some files and folders that you’d only like to share with a certain person or group of people from the business.

To put it simply, you can have the same set of sharing permissions for everyone and you can have it set up differently for every department in your company.

This feature is very helpful in keeping the privacy of the business and sensitive information such as client details safe from someone who shouldn’t see it or someone who might accidentally send the files to someone else. The configurations that Google allows you to do are as follows:

  • Allow users to share files outside of your business – users can share files to any emails, including the ones that aren’t using the company email.
  • Allow file sharing to certain domains – this feature allows your company to share files with another Google Workspace domain, and prevents users from sharing files with their personal accounts.
  • Restrict all external file sharing – this configuration restricts users from sharing or receiving files to and from outside of your organization.
  • Restrict the access levels users can give to files
  • Control who can access files that are stored on shared drives

These configurations can be set up by going to your Admin console homepage. Go to Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs. Once there, click on Sharing settings, then Sharing Options. It is best for organizations to practice setting proper Drive file sharing regulations to avoid any minor and major complications.

3. Synchronise the files on your Google Drive to your devices or computers

Google Workspace offers 2 different ways to easily access your files from Google Drive and keep them all updated and synced across all of your devices.

  1. Backup and Sync – Google’s default consumer sync client. With this feature, all the contents of your Drive are stored locally. Organizations can use this too, the next one might be more useful;
  2. Google Drive for desktop – this is best and highly recommended for organizations. With Google Drive for desktop, you can sync your Drive and shared drives from the cloud. This option also allows you to make the files on your Drive available for offline access.
Google Drive Backup and Sync

4. Install Google Apps on your phones or tablets

Try and utilise all of the tools that are available with Google Workspace. Being flexible and aware of your options allow you to upgrade your work and the way your organization can work.

No longer do you have to always be facing a desktop to be working. Download the mobile apps for Google Drive, Docs editors, and other Google Apps. These apps are available for  Android and iOS.

Google Workspace Apps

5. Train your team on how to use Google Drive correctly

Make sure that your team is able to properly utilise the features that Google Workspace offers for businesses. Once people have familiarized themselves with how easy it is to work on projects, organize, synchronize tasks, and see each others’ progress, you’ll be able to see significant improvements in your company’s productivity and output.

There are training materials available online on using Google Drive or the best practices on Google Drive for organizations. You can also watch Onsite Helper’s Google Workspace Mini-Course. It will help you to be able to easily cover the basics and intermediate know-hows of Google Workspace.

Google Workspace Learning Center

If you want to know more about how business users can properly use Google Workspace, you can:

How to Use Google Workspace to Open Microsoft Office Files

Whether you’re using Google Workspace for personal or business, there may be times when inevitably, you need to work with Microsoft Office files. Your clients might send you a Microsoft Office Word document or you might have to use old files from before you started using Google Workspace. Either way, Google Workspace gives you an easy way to open, edit, and work with Microsoft Office files. We’ll be showing you how to use Google Workspace to open and edit Microsoft Office files without having to convert them.

What is Google Workspace?

Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite, is Google’s set of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools. Google Workspace features communication apps like Gmail and Google Chat; collaboration tools such as Google Docs and Google Keep; storage synchronization, and more.

Opening Microsoft Office files in Google Drive

Any file type or document can be stored in Google Drive, this includes Microsoft Office files like Word, PowerPoint, or Excel files. 

Double-clicking the Microsoft Office file would open it, with the help of an extension called Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides. You’ll be able to edit your Microsoft Office file while retaining its original format. This means that it is possible for you to keep working on your Microsoft Office files without having to convert them to Google format.

Onsite Helper docx

Another way to open your Microsoft Office files in Google Workspace:

  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file and click ‘Preview’. On the Preview, click ‘Open with Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs
  • Right-click your Microsoft Office file, then hover on ‘Open With’, and select ‘Google Docs’ or whichever is applicable.
Open with Google Docs

You can make any changes you want, save them, and send them to someone else. You or the receiver of your file would be able to open and edit the document again using Microsoft Office without any compatibility problems.

Note: Compatibility issues wouldn’t arise only for simple documents. For Excel and PowerPoint, some functionalities might not work if you make changes in Google Drive.

Some features on your PowerPoint might not be displayed using Slides and some formulas that you use in Excel might not work in Sheets due to syntax differences. Despite these, Google will still give you a warning before you can make any changes to your file. At the same time, Google will also try to replace the features with ones that are compatible with them.

Google Slides can't display some features of this PowerPoint presentation

Restore previous versions on Google Workspace

Should you wish to view the full history of the Microsoft Office file or restore the file from any of the previous versions listed on Google Workspace, you can do so by checking the Version History

Open the version history

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format

Converting Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace format is as easy as 1-2-3.

To convert your Microsoft Office files in Google Drive to Google format:

  1. Open your Microsoft Office file in Google Drive using any of the methods shown above.
  2. Go to ‘File’ and click ‘Save as Google Docs’.
Save as Google Docs

 3. Wait for the conversion to finish.

After the conversion, a version of your Microsoft Office file that has been successfully converted to the Google format will automatically open in a new tab.

Onsite Helper - Google Docs

Why Convert your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace?

One of the biggest benefits of converting your Microsoft Office files to Google Workspace is that it makes file sharing and collaboration a lot easier. Google Workspace itself was built as a collaboration-focused solution from top to bottom.

The interface of Google Workspace is very clean and intuitive. Its seamless cloud integration makes it an ideal choice for businesses that use multiple devices with varying operating systems.

Another great benefit of opening Microsoft office files in Google Drive is it prevents you from installing Viruses or Ransomware. This is a common exploit when opening Microsoft Office files on your locally installed Microsoft office software especially if you have macros enabled. In fact, the Australian government’s Essential 8 Security Recommendations highlight the importance of Microsoft Office macro settings and patching software, both of which you can reduce by operating your document processing in the browser.

Another benefit: as mentioned above, you can reduce your security risk by not using locally installed Microsoft office software. This means you can reduce your cost as well. Microsoft 365 Apps for business has a cost of $12 per user per month.

While you’re here

Onsite Helper can help you set up or migrate to Google Workspace.

Contact us today to find out more about how Google Workspace can help you scale your business and how we can help you with the migration.

We are based in Australia but we provide these services worldwide. You can find out more about our IT services here.

Opening Microsoft Office files from Gmail

If you receive an email from your friends or colleagues and they aren’t using Google Workspace, there’s no need to worry. You can still easily open and edit the files that they sent using Google Drive. What’s more, you can easily email back an updated copy of the same file to them, giving you a very fast, efficient, and seamless workflow with your friends or colleagues.

How can you easily open and edit Microsoft Office files from your Gmail?

  • If you click on the Microsoft Office file sent to you, a preview of its content will be displayed. On top of the preview, click on ‘Open with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Open with Google Sheets

If you want to immediately convert and edit the Microsoft Office file to Google format, you can:

  • Hover your mouse over the file and click the ‘Edit with Google Sheets’ or whichever is applicable to you.
Edit with Google Sheets

How to easily send the updated file back to the original sender?

  • Click ‘File, hover on ‘Email’, and then click ‘Reply with this file’.
  • You can also choose to compose a new message with the same file attached, by clicking ‘Email this file’ instead.
Google Sheets - Reply with this file

Need more help?

If you want to know more about Google Workspace and how it can help you and your business, Onsite Helper can help you.

Onsite Helper is an IT service provider based in Australia that helps businesses all over the world. 

Need IT specialists? Want to migrate to Google Workspace? Interested in knowing about our Managed IT services? Feel free to contact us.

If you want to know why you should set up Google Drive for your business, you can watch this video.

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  • We will keep you up to date and communicate in plain english – no IT Jargon
  • When it comes to your business, security is our #1 priority!

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