Is my data safe and secure?

Who owns the data I put into Google Apps?

To put it simply, Google does not own your data. We don’t take a position on whether data belongs to individual users or the institution that signed up for Google Apps, but we know it doesn’t belong to us. The data you put into our systems is yours, and we believe it should stay that way. That means three key things:

  1. We won’t share your data with others except as noted in our Privacy Policy.
  2. We keep your data as long as you require us to keep it.
  3. You should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

Where does Google store my data?

Your data is stored in Google’s network of geographically distributed data centers. Google’s computing clusters are designed with resiliency and redundancy in mind, eliminating any single point of failure and minimizing the impact of common equipment failures and environmental risks. Access to data centers is limited to select Google employees and personnel.

Is my data safe from your other customers when it is running on the same servers?

Yes. Data is virtually protected as if it were on its own server. Unauthorized parties cannot access your data. Your competitors cannot access your data, and vice versa. In fact, all user accounts are protected via this virtual lock and key that ensures that one user cannot see another user’s data. This is similar to how customer data is segmented in other shared infrastructures such as online banking applications.

Can Google Apps support HIPAA compliance?

For customers who are subject to the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Google Apps can support HIPAA compliance. Under HIPAA, certain information about a person’s health or health care services is classified as Protected Health Information (PHI). Google Apps customers who are subject to HIPAA and wish to use Google Apps with PHI must sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Google.

Is Google Apps FISMA-certified?

The Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002, or FISMA, is a United States federal law pertaining to the information security of federal agencies’ information systems. FISMA applies to all information systems used or operated by U.S. federal agencies—or by contractors or other organizations on behalf of the government. Google Apps has received an authority to operate at the FISMA-Moderate level—the standard level for federal email systems—from the U.S. federal government.

How do you protect my organization from spam and viruses?

Google has one of the best spam blockers in the business, and it’s integrated into Google Apps. Spam is purged every 30 days. We have built-in virus checking and enforce checking of documents before allowing a user to download any message.

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