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Google Workspace Storage and Security

With your help, TMU can minimize online threats.

Since Google’s 2021 announcement that they would no longer provide free unlimited storage to educational institutions using Google Workspace, CCS has been working to implement new Google Workspace storage limits to help reduce the university’s storage. 

With new storage limits applied to most TMU accounts as of October 9, 2023*, it's important that faculty and staff are aware of best practices for using Google Workspace effectively and how to manage their storage usage. Read on for tips and tricks for navigating this change to Google Workspace and features that will help protect the sensitive information you work with from falling into the wrong hands.

*Instructors, including those who also have student or staff roles, will not have their new storage limit applied to their accounts until February 19, 2024.

Accounts over their limit are still able to view and download files from Google Workspace and sign into their TMU Gmail account, but those over their limit are unable to:

  • Upload new files or images to Google Drive;
  • Create new files in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard;
  • Edit or copy files in Google Drive or submit Google Forms; and
  • Record new meetings in Google Meet.

Four steps for reducing your storage usage

  1. Identify your largest files on Google Drive (external link)  and delete any you no longer need. 
  2. Delete duplicate files. Duplicate files often include “copy” or “(1)” in the file name.
  3. Manage your files and data by using Google Drive’s version control features like comparing earlier file versions (external link)  rather than creating multiple versions of the same file.
  4. Remove any personal files saved to your TMU Google Drive or transfer them to a personal Google account or move them to cloud-based or removable storage–your TMU account should only be used for academic or work-related purposes!

For a full list of strategies for reducing your Google Workspace storage usage, visit the Google Workspace storage policy FAQ page on the CCS website.

As a part of their roles at the university, many employees handle private or confidential information and data like student IDs and grades, health or financial information or research and intellectual property owned by the university.

We encourage you to consult the Information Protection Policy and Information Classification Standard and Handling Guidelines for guidance on downloading or transferring sensitive or confidential files and data.

Be mindful of who has access to your files and data

If you’re working with highly sensitive or confidential information and data, it’s particularly important to be conscious of who has been granted access to your documents or files. Be intentional about the level of access you’re granting to a collaborator on files saved to Google Drive or you risk having documents and data moved, deleted or compromised.

Access instructions for updating or changing the sharing settings of files saved to Google Drive (external link) .

Don’t forget–except in rare circumstances, you should be very cautious when granting file access to documents and data stored on Google Drive with non-TMU accounts and other individuals external to the university. Always double check the email address of your intended collaborator before sharing and consider adding an expiration date via the document or file’s sharing permissions to ensure it isn’t shared indefinitely.

Google shared drives are collaborative spaces on Google Workspace that allow active TMU employees to store files and data in a central location that can be accessed by all members of the shared drive. With up to 1 TB of storage available, departments and teams should consider creating a shared drive for large projects that span multiple TMU departments. 

Other shared drive benefits include:

  • Ease of access - as a member of a shared drive, you’ll have access to to all files and documents saved to the shared drive;
  • Files in a shared drive aren’t owned by a specific individual, meaning they will continue to be accessible even if the original file owner has left the university; and
  • Additional sharing permission settings, including ‘manager’ access, allow employees to control who can edit or delete files on the shared drive or add new members.

Learn more about the benefits and uses of Google shared drives by visiting the shared drives page on the Google Workspace at Toronto Metropolitan University website. 

Please note that CCS is currently exploring additional paid storage options for departments and teams requiring more than 1 TB of storage for their Google shared drive. Information about additional paid storage options for Google shared drives will be shared in the coming months.

Learn more about the new Google Workspace storage limits

To access background information about the Google Workspace storage project, identify your storage limit based on your role at the university and for a full list of frequently asked questions, please visit the Google Workspace storage policy FAQ page.