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Do you trust that file? Google will now warn you about suspicious files on the web

Google Docs, Sheets and Slides now feature security warning banners when users attempt to open suspicious files on the web.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Google is bringing its security warning banners to more Google Workspace apps to help users make better decisions about whether or not to open a file from the web. 

The new warning banners for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides might appear for files on the web that Google detects as suspicious. 

The expansion of warning banners to Workspace apps follows the introduction of the same banners to Google Drive files in January. The banner alerts are rolled out to all Google Drive users globally with the intent to help protect users and the organizations they work for from malware, phishing and ransomware.

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In Google Drive, a yellow banner might appear at the top of the page after a user has clicked on a link, but before the file is downloaded. The warning states that the file looks suspicious and "might be used to steal your personal information".  

Oddly, Google announced in October at its Google Cloud Next 2021 conference that the warning banner functionality for Docs was already available, and would be rolling out soon for Sheets and Slides. Then, announcing the banners in January, Google said the banners were already available in Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings.   

"Previously, we announced warning banners for potentially malicious or dangerous files in Google Drive. We're extending these warnings at the file-level – going forward, if you open a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file on the web, you'll see these warnings," Google said this week in a Workspace Updates blogpost.   

For business customers, the warning banners will be a gradual rollout commencing April 27, 2022. 

The feature will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers. 

Google recently reported strong revenue growth in Google Workspace through both seats and average revenue per seat.

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