Secured Transfer of G Suite Account Data and Ownership
This article delves into the step-by-step guide for an admin to transfer G Suite user data and ownership, after an employee leaves the organization.
When an employee exits from an organization, the G Suite license still remains active until the G Suite admin takes action. Emails still arrive in the inbox, mobile devices are still synced and all of the Google Drive docs still display the former employee as the file owner.
A G Suite admin needs to secure the user license, take backup of the former employee's data and transfer information according to the organizational need.
So here are the necessary steps that need to be undertaken by organizations for transferring ownership of G Suite Account -
1. Securing Access
a. Firstly, erase data from the mobile devices that are connected to the user license. Login with a G Suite admin credential to the G Suite admin console at https://admin.google.com, select Users, then the user's name, then choose Account.
At the near end of the account section, you will see the mobile devices that are connected to the user license. Choose either Wipe this account to remove the organization's data from the device, or Wipe this device to remove all data from the device. This process has to be decided for each connected device.
b. Change former employee’s password. Make a record of the new password for usage in future.
c. Select Reset sign-in cookies to enable the user to re-login from all devices.
d. Then return to the user's main settings page, then scroll down a little to the Security section. Revoke all authorized access items and all application-specific passwords listed. Also turn off the two-step authentication at this stage.
e. Login to the former employee's or user’s account and remove any associated recovery email or phone addresses. Choose your personal information from the home screen, remove any external, personal email addresses and phone numbers related to the account.
2. Saving Data
Google Takeout can be used to save all data linked to the user license. Open a new incognito browser window, go to the page and login with the former employee's login details. Select the data you wish to export, then select Next. To export all data, leave everything selected. However, if there is a large chunk of data, you may want to increase the maximum exported file segment size. The default is 2GB with options up to 50GB. Choose Create archive.
After the archive is created, Google will send an email to the former employee's email. However, the admin can only check the email, then follow the link to download the archived files. Record these files securely. In some organizations, these files are stored on archival quality storage and kept with the employee's HR records.
So finally, you have a backed up copy of data from the former employee's G Suite account.
3. Transferring G Suite Account Data
To transfer emails and other sensitive data, login as a G Suite admin.
With the G Suite data migration service, super admins can transfer emails from one G Suite user to another. Login to the G Suite admin console, select Data Migration and select email. For migration source, choose G Suite, then provide the super admin login information. After that, you will have to select your source and destination emails for the migration procedure.
An admin can transfer ownership of files also.
Steps needed to be followed are-
Go to admin console, then Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Transfer ownership.
Then fill up the source and destination email details.
To transfer Google Groups and Sites, add another user’s email as the owner.
Login with the employee's credentials, to https://groups.google.com, pick a group, then select the group settings icon, select Membership and email settings and finally Transfer ownership. After this, you can also make another member of the group, the owner.
For Classic Google Sites, login to https://sites.google.com, select a site, then choose settings, click Sharing and permissions, and then invite someone from the organization to be the owner of the site.
4. Deleting Former Employee's License
Now, the former employee's license can be deleted. Login to the admin console, select Users, then select the three-vertical dot menu to the right of the user, and choose Delete.
5. Add Email Address as Alias
If the former employee's email served as a login to any service or website, you might want to keep the email address active as an alias. With this, you can recover the login to those websites more easily, since any email sent to that address will appear in an active G Suite email.
To add an alias, login to the G Suite admin console, choose Users, select a user, then choose Accounts and lastly, select the Add an alias option under Alias. Add the former employee's email address here. If you have just deleted the email, you may need to wait a bit until the old email is fully removed before you add it as an alias.