​Soon your Google Drive links may stop working

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Google will send out an update in September that could have major consequences for anyone who occasionally uses a Google Drive link. It’s a good update in principle, as it makes file link sharing more secure, but it also means that many existing Google Drive links become useless.

Shared files

Did someone share a file and finally want to open it? Then there is a good chance after September that you will never be able to do that again. That is, unless you ask that person to share the document with you again. However, in some cases this is impossible: when that person for whatever reason no longer has access to the account or when someone has died, for example.

The update that will be released in mid-September will only negatively affect links that have never been opened. If you have clicked the link once, then there is nothing to worry about. These are purely links that have been left unclicked. That’s because Google will make file sharing safer on September 13 by including a source key in the link. The source key is required to access a still unopened document. So if you never clicked, there is no source key, unless someone chooses to share the link again, Engadget writes.

Google Drive links

If this stresses you out, at least make sure you search your email for all the Google Drive stuff that has been shared with you (and maybe even WhatsApp). Just click on them, so that you have at least had access and you can also see them as ‘shared documents’ within your Drive. If you really don’t like the security update at all, you can also choose to indicate to Google that you do not wish to use the update. Then everything will remain as it is now, and therefore a little less secure than if you did install the update.

Google will use the coming weeks to notify people of the upcoming update via email. You can also indicate that you are not okay with the update and want to skip it.

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