They’re Filling Google Drive With Spam

Apparently Google Drive spam has been around for at least two years. I’ve managed to avoid it until now. If you’re just finding out (or experiencing) this lovely phenom, I’ll outline the one thing you can do about it.

Here’s the problem: You can share a file with other people on Drive, even if you’re not contacts. This is fine. You can also send people – including people who are not in your contacts – an invitation to collaborate on a file.

Which means that you can get invitations like these:

File listing with filenames like "View Mary's Private Direct Message and photos"

And there is no way to shut it off.

Google’s known about this for a while – and issued a statement two years ago stating:

“For the vast majority of users, the default sharing permissions in Drive work as intended. Unfortunately, this was not the case for this user and we sincerely apologize for her experience. In light of this issue, we are evaluating changes to our spam, abuse, and blocking features that will prevent this kind of activity from taking place on Drive. In the interim, users who are experiencing similar issues can remove themselves from the folder, and the folder should not reappear in either “My Drive” or “Shared with Me” unless they revisit it.” — Google Spokesperson

And the situation hasn’t changed since HowToGeek’s article that details the whole thing. I take that back; the method of reporting spam is slightly different than in the article above. Right-click on the filename, and a context menu list of actions will show up:

Click on “Report abuse”, and you’ll see something like the below. (I am using Dark Reader here, so it will be black text on a white background for you)
And that’s it. My experience with Google across a wide range of products (Voice, mobile, reader, G+, play store) is that things work great until you need customer service. And then you’re absolutely hosed. I mean, they were evaluating changes to spam, abuse, and blocking features that would prevent this kind of activity from taking place on Drive two years ago. I’m sure they’ll fix it any day now. Featured Photo by Hannes Johnson on Unsplash