LionMail Drive

LionMail includes unlimited file storage in the cloud on LionMail Drive (Columbia's implementation of Google Drive). LionMail Drive offers many of the same features as Google Drive, with some adjustments to enhance data security at Columbia.

Drive can be found in the square Google apps grid in the upper-right corner of LionMail

Features

  • Storage: Store and organize as many files as you want online in the cloud
  • Collaboration: Share and work with others by giving them view or edit access to your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Share: All uploaded files can be shared to other LionMail or Gmail users, including photos, videos, PDFs, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files
  • Search: Google's famous search functionality can comb the text content of your Google files in addition to all file titles
  • Drive mobile app: Get Drive on your smartphone or tablet (Android or iOS), allowing you to access your files online or offline (if saved to your device)

Please remember that the Gmail web interface is CUIT's only fully supported method for using LionMail Drive. The supported browsers of LionMail Drive are the current and the previous release of your preferred browser.

All Columbia University Morningside students, faculty and staff have LionMail, though some administrative departments have opted to use Outlook Exchange. CUMC students, faculty and staff use the CUMC email system. CUMC affiliates do not use LionMail.

Search

Finding documents in Google Drive can become challenging if your inventory has many of the same keywords. LionMail Drive has an enhanced search capability that allows you to search by:

  • type of file 
  • file owner, using their name or email address
  • words contained within the file
  • the date the file was last modified
  • names of other users the file was shared with

To use the enhanced search options, click on the arrow on the right side of LionMail Drive's search field (see below). Drive's Intelligent Search feature is not yet available in Columbia's implementation of LionMail.

Click the arrow on the far right of the Drive search bar to get the advanced search options

Accessibility

Attention Faculty: At no time can LionMail Drive be made a course requirement.

Columbia University is committed to ensuring equal access to information, programs and activities through its technologies, web pages, services and resources for all its constituencies, including people with disabilities. While LionMail Drive will be available for classroom use, because of the lack of access for certain types of disabilities, the University prohibits faculty from requiring it for any academic interaction. Requiring its use might exclude some students from full class participation and access to the full academic environment.

Please follow our general LionMail accessibility guidelines for making your Google Documents accessible to people with disabilities. The Google Administrator Guide to Accessibility provides further information on accessibility and Google Apps, including Google Drive.

If you encounter any difficulties or have questions about using assistive technologies or creating accessible documents with Google Drive, please contact CUIT by calling 212-854-1919 or sending an email to askcuit@columbia.edu.

Columbia's contract with Google provides protections that improve upon those contained in the consumer Google Apps license. Therefore, we urge you to cease any use of consumer-based Google Drive for University matters, and recommend you use LionMail Drive instead.

In order to maintain a secure collaboration and sharing environment, some risky sharing options are not available on LionMail Drive. Most notably, Drive items cannot be set to any level of “Public” sharing. This is because the "public on the web" setting makes the document completely public and available for indexing, which means it will appear in search engine results and would be available to every user who has a Google account.

You may still generate sharable links and share these with users outside of Columbia, however you must share the document with the email addresses of the specific users that you would like to have access to your file.

The option of sharing files with the entire LionMail domain, whether by sending with or without a link, has always been discouraged at Columbia for several reasons:

  • Once a Drive item is shared domain-wide, it appears in the search results of all persons using LionMail Drive. Over 15,000 Columbia students, faculty, staff, alumni, and retirees actively use LionMail Drive each week, and many more have access if they just log in. If you search a specific keyword to find a file in Drive, the search results will include not only the files you own, but also any items with the keyword that have been shared with all LionMail users. LionMail users have reported that this makes finding their own Drive items more difficult.
  • Any information shared domain-wide is no longer under the owner’s control. Other LionMail Drive users could copy and share it with anyone they choose, including an unintended audience.
  • Changing the original data before sharing it is also possible. This technique could be used by other LionMail Drive users for many purposes; some of the more troubling possibilities include:
    • Making it appear as if the original author wrote something they didn't.
    • Removing credits to the original author.

Up until the spring of 2018, this advice was the only “soft control” in place to prevent LionMail Drive users from setting up domain-wide sharing. However, the use of the domain-wide sharing option became extensive due to system prompts that made sharing to all LionMail users the easiest or most visible option. As a response, beginning in 2018, the visibility of the domain-wide sharing option will be minimized in the system. Furthermore, for Columbia's administrative employees, domain-wide sharing will be actively removed from LionMail Drive items using the system that filters and corrects for unencrypted "sensitive" data stored in Drive.

In addition to limiting sharing options, the University Data Classification and Protection of Systems policies (and some others) do not allow for Social Security numbers (SSNs) or payment card data to be stored or shared in LionMail Drive.

To ensure all users are collaborating in the most secure way on LionMail Drive, Columbia uses a system that filters and corrects for potentially risky sharing levels (domain-wide to all LionMail users) or unencrypted data stored in Drive. Documents containing unencrypted SSNs and credit card numbers will have sharing removed and instructions will be sent to the owner as to how to remove/encrypt the document from LionMail Drive. Under no circumstances should anyone ever store, email or share unencrypted Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or Personal Health Information (PHI) as defined in the Data Classification Policy.

To guide you through using LionMail Drive in accordance with University policies, please review the LionMail Drive Requirements documentation. This information is also on the Provost's website.

Share directly from LionMail Drive

Share option is near the top of the menu

Enter the names or email addresses of those that you would like to have access to the file in the Share with others pop-up. You can also enter the email address of a LionMail/Google Group if you'd like to share the file more quickly or widely. If you frequently share files with the same people but they are not in a group together, save yourself some time by submitting a ticket to CUIT to request a LionMail Group. Please include the following information in your request:

  • Group display name (i.e. Columbia Checkers Club)
  • Group email address (i.e. cucheckers@columbia.edu)
  • Approximate number of list recipients
  • Purpose of the mailing list
  • UNI(s) of the administrators of the mailing list

Select the level of access you'd like to give this group of collaborators: edit, comment or view only.

    Click Done.

    Warning: If you click "Get shareable link" while you are in the Share with others pop-up, Google will automatically turn link sharing on so that Anyone at LionMail with the link can view. This type of domain-wide sharing is highly discouraged by CUIT; we suggest you change this to OFF - only specific people can access, and list the users you would like to share with

    Add a note

    You can type a message to the people or groups that you are sharing the files with, such as "Here are the spreadsheets I mentioned in yesterday's meeting", and it will be added to the notification email that is sent when you share a file.

    Notify people

    If you prefer not to have a notification email sent to everyone you have shared the file with, you can uncheck the "Notify people" box. This means you will have to tell individuals that they have access to the document or send them the link directly. This is useful in cases where you want to have the file accessible to a larger group in case they need it, but you only want to bring it to the attention of certain individuals within that group.

    Share from within a Google Doc, Sheet or Slide

    Share button is found in the upper-right corner of any Google Doc, Sheet or Slide

    Enter the names or email addresses of those that you would like to have access to the file. You can also enter the email address of a LionMail/Google Group if you'd like to share the file more quickly or widely. If you frequently share files with the same people but they are not in a group together, save yourself some time by submitting a ticket to CUIT to request a LionMail Group. Please include the following information in your request:

    • Group display name (i.e. Columbia Checkers Club)
    • Group email address (i.e. cucheckers@columbia.edu)
    • Approximate number of list recipients
    • Purpose of the mailing list
    • UNI(s) of the administrators of the mailing list

    Select the level of access you'd like to give this group of collaborators: edit, comment or view only.

      Click Done.

      Warning: If you click "Get shareable link" while you are in the Share with others pop-up, Google will automatically turn link sharing on so that Anyone at LionMail with the link can view. This type of domain-wide sharing is highly discouraged by CUIT; we suggest you change this to OFF - only specific people can access, and list the users you would like to share with

      Add a note

      You can type a message to the people or groups that you are sharing the files with, such as "Here are the spreadsheets I mentioned in yesterday's meeting", and it will be added to the notification email that is sent when you share a file.

      Notify people

      If you prefer not to have a notification email sent to everyone you have shared the file with, you can uncheck the "Notify people" box. This means you will have to tell individuals that they have access to the document or send them the link directly. This is useful in cases where you want to have the file accessible to a larger group in case they need it, but you only want to bring it to the attention of certain individuals within that group.

      Share from a LionMail email or LionCalendar invitation

      Include the users you want to share with in the To or Guest fields. 

      If you frequently share files with the same people but they are not in a group together, save yourself some time by submitting a ticket to CUIT to request a LionMail Group. Please include the following information in your request:

      • Group display name (i.e. Columbia Checkers Club)
      • Group email address (i.e. cucheckers@columbia.edu)
      • Approximate number of list recipients
      • Purpose of the mailing list
      • UNI(s) of the administrators of the mailing list

      In LionMail, click the Drive icon to find and attach the files you'd like to share.

      You can also paste the URL of the file location in Drive directly into the body of the email.

      Drive icon is in the toolbar next to the Send button

      In LionMail Calendar, click the paperclip icon to find and attach the files you'd like to share.

      You can also paste the URL of the file location in Drive directly into the description section.

      The paperclip icon is in the toolbar above the description field of a calendar invitation

      If the file is not already shared on LionMail drive with the email or invitation recipients, a pop-up window will ask you to select how you would like to share the file. Select the level of access you'd like to give this group of collaborators: edit, comment or view only.

        Click Share & send or Share & save.

        Select the level of collaboration access you would like to provide by clicking the dropdown next to "Recipients of this email" (or calendar invite).

        Share via a shared folder in LionMail Drive

        If you share documents with many individuals and groups, especially with the same individuals and groups repeatedly, you can create a folder and share to those people and/or groups. Then, any files dragged or relocated to that folder will inherit the current folder sharing settings. This is a convenient way to share without typing out the usernames individually.

        Navigate to Drive and click New in the upper-left corner. Select Folder and give it a namebur.

        Folder is the first option in the "New" dropdown in Drive's upper-left corner.

        Right-click (or control-click) on your new folder and select Share. Enter the names or email addresses of the individuals and groups that you would like to share everything in the folder with, and provide a level of sharing access.

        If you frequently share files with the same people but they are not in a group together, save yourself some time by submitting a ticket to CUIT to request a LionMail Group. Please include the following information in your request:

        • Group display name (i.e. Columbia Checkers Club)
        • Group email address (i.e. cucheckers@columbia.edu)
        • Approximate number of list recipients
        • Purpose of the mailing list
        • UNI(s) of the administrators of the mailing list

        You can now share by dragging files into your shared folder, or by right-clicking (control-clicking) and creating Google Docs, Sheets or Slides directly within the folder. Everything within this folder will be accessible to all the email addresses that you shared it with.

        Please note that the users will not receive a notification when a file is added to the folder, so you will have to let them know if you would like them to be aware something new is there.

        After you've entered the people you want to share with, you can also specify what level of access you'd like them to have (this is important if you're sharing a Google file, such as one from Docs, Sheets or Slides).

        You can change the access at any time by right-clicking the file from your file list in LionMail Drive or opening the Google file and clicking the Share button in the upper-right corner.

        You can also set an expiration on collaborator's access if you'd like to prevent changes after a certain date.

        The pencil icon allows other users you share with to edit your file directly

        Edit access

        This default option and will allow the specified users to make changes to Google files that you share. You can see who has made which changes at what time by opening the document, clicking File and then selecting Version history. Edit access does not work with non-Google files, but everyone that you share the file with will be able to view it.

        The speech bubble icon indicates that other users you share with can comment or suggest changes

        Comment access

        This option will allow the specified users to make comments and suggestions on Google files that you share, but does not allow them to make changes to the content directly. You will be able to see who has left the comment, and at what time. Comment access does not work with non-Google files, but everyone that you share the file with will be able to view it.

        The eye icon indicates that other users you share with can only view the file you share with them

        View access

        This option will only allow the specified users to open and download the file. If the file is a Google file, the user will not be able to comment, edit or share the file with anyone.

        LionMail Drive can be used to store various file types, including documents, presentations, music, photos and videos in the Cloud. You can open many file types right in your browser, including PDFs, high-definition videos and many image file types, even if you don't have the corresponding program installed on your computer. Your docs, sheets and files are only available if you are connected to the Internet.

        LionMail Drive includes powerful search options – even the ability to search for text in pictures – to help you quickly find what you are looking for.

        My Drive vs. Shared with Me
        • The “My Drive” folder is your default folder, anything you create is placed in this folder by default.   
        • The “Shared with me” folder is a category of documents and folders that have been created by other users and shared with you.    
        Folders
        • Folders are signified by the folder icon to the left. Folders that contain other folders will also have a drop-down arrow next to the folder icon in the left side navigator. Clicking this arrow will either show or hide the contents of the folder.
        • Folders with the small white person icon on the folder are shared folders.
        • Files will be displayed with an icon corresponding to the file type to the left of the file.
        • Files may be dragged and dropped into folders, and folders may be dragged and dropped onto files.  
          • One file or multiple files can be selected at any time by clicking on one of the filenames and dragging. The files can then be moved over a folder icon or title and dropped into the folder. If this method is used, files will be moved, not copied, into the folder.
          • A folder or folders can be dragged and dropped onto a filename. If this is done, the file does not move out of the folder in which it currently resides, it just adds the folder as a “label” on the file. One file can have multiple folder labels, unlike most file systems.
        Folder Properties
        • Folder properties may be accessed by clicking on the down arrow to the right of the folder.
        • The sharing permissions for the folder are accessible through the Share option.
        • The Organize option allows you to move a folder into other folders.
        • Folders may also be starred, downloaded, removed and marked as unread or unviewed. The color of the folder icon can also be changed in this screen.
        Folder Sharing

        Once in the sharing settings for a folder, you may add users individually, or you can change the general sharing listed at the top of the “Who has access” pane by clicking on “Change."