What is Google for Veterans and Families?
The Google Veterans Network is our employee volunteer community that strives to make Google a great place to work for those who have served, their families and their friends. We also aim to be a positive contributor to the veteran community at large. Google products and services have made our lives a little easier - whether we are still in the service, transitioning out, or on a new path in our civilian lives. We wanted to give back to the community and help other veterans and their families discover how useful these tools can be. So we created Google for Veterans and Families - a collection of free and useful tools from our veterans' community to yours.
Why Veterans and Families?
Ask veterans how you can help them and they will probably point to their families. Those of us who have served know that our families gave us the strength to serve and supported us when we came home. Those of us who are family members continue to want to do whatever we can to provide that critical level of care, support and recognition. Half of the people in our community here at Google have never served in the military but many are tied to someone who has. We've thrived because of our efforts to support each other. We hope the tools we've pulled together can help bring military families closer whether they are reuniting or still far apart.
When I create a Google Account, what exactly am I signing up for?
Signing up for a Google Account allows you to interact with dozens of Google tools, like Drive, YouTube, Maps, and many more. These tools allow you to store and share information safely online so that you can access them from your mobile device or any computer with Internet access, no matter where you are. Keep in mind that creating an account does not give you automatic access to Gmail. If you would like to create a Google account, go to google.com/accounts and click the Sign Up button to get started.
Some of this information is really private. Where does it go once I enter it?
When you upload your data into a Google tool using the Internet, it goes into what is often referred to as "the cloud." Cloud computing allows you to save information like email, documents or photographs and access them from any Internet-connected device in the world instead of saving them on your computer. Additionally, with tools like Google Drive or Picasa Web Albums, you're able to specify whether you want the content to be private, shared with only your family or open to everyone on the web. You have the ability to keep the content safe as needed. Saving your data in the cloud lets you travel light AND safely.
Is anyone at Google going to access or view my data?
No one at Google reads your Gmail or other personal information. We tell you in plain language what data we store and how we use it. Check out the Google Privacy Center, linked from the Google homepage, and watch easy-to-understand videos explaining our policies and practices.
How can I control the privacy settings for my content using Google services?
Each Google tool has a different way to keep your data private. It's important that you understand the steps you need to take to do this. Learn more about specific steps you can take by product on each of the help pages within this site. You may also wish to view your Google Dashboard which shows you information stored in your Google Account.
How can I make sure I always have a backup of what goes into the cloud?
When you use a Google service, you retain copyright and control over your data. You can take your stuff with you however you like—export all your mail from Gmail (via POP or IMAP), download all of your Picasa photos, export any files from Google Drive, forward your mail to any other service at no cost, or sync your Google Calendar to Outlook. Data portability is so important to us that in September 2009, a group of engineers formed The Data Liberation Front: an engineering team whose singular goal is to make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products. The Data Liberation Front helps other engineering teams within Google "liberate" their products.