Google Docs has billions of users across the world. While it’s a collaborative and cost-effective platform with extensive features, users still speculate that Google Doc files can be harmful and spread viruses. What’s the reality? Can you get a virus from Google Docs?
While theoretically, Google Docs could contain an exploit or virus, it is not very likely as Google scans all documents and files uploaded into Google Docs. Google Sheets does allow you to create macros, so if someone shares a Google Sheet with you that contains macros, only allow the macro if you trust the person who created the spreadsheet.
In this article, let’s look at ways to determine if a Google Docs link is suspicious and instances when your system can be affected by viruses.
How To Find If A Google Docs Link Is Safe
Google Docs is a part of the large-scale cloud storage platform, Google Drive. Sharing links from Drive and between other applications in Google’s list of platforms is entirely safe. However, as you may also work offline and include a lot of extensions, it’s essential to ensure that your system is free from viruses.
Most importantly, there are also link shorteners that shorten the URL of a document in Google Docs, and this can potentially contain malware.
Here are a few ways to find out if a Google Docs link is safe to open:
- Check if the URL begins with docs.google.com/document/. Any other URL to a document on Google Docs is a red flag.
- Check if the sender has used a link shortener. If so, it’s essential to request the full link.
- If you’re unaware of the document’s sender, it’s recommended not to open it.
- If the link lands in your spam folder, it’s another red flag, as receivers in the past have already flagged the sender.
These are a few foolproof ways to protect your system’s health at the first level.
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How To Remove Virus From Google Docs
If you’ve opened a Google Docs link from an unauthorized source, there’s a chance that your system is attacked with a virus. Remember that Google Docs doesn’t produce viruses, but clicking an unsafe link (in the name of Google Docs) is a form of spoofing that can produce viruses and allow third parties to access your files.
If you believe that your system is infected with a virus, there are two quick actions to follow.
Open the antivirus software installed on your computer. Run a quick device scan to determine if there are any files. Clear them instantly.
Protect Google Account
Another method is to fix security issues on your Google account. Follow the steps below.
- Log on to your Google account.
- Type google.com and then tap on your account icon on the top.
- Select Manage your Google account.
4. Click Security and go to the section titled “third-party apps with account access.”
5. Click Manage third-party access and remove any suspicious user associated with your account.
Alternatively, you can also pay attention to recommended security actions on the same page and click Protect your account.
This approach will strengthen the security level of your account.
As a rule of thumb, it’s recommended to stay extra cautious each time you click a link. Although Google Drive or Docs doesn’t produce viruses, spoofing still exists, and attackers always find ways to hack data. Hence, scanning your system regularly and strengthening the security level of your Google account is critical.