Sunday, February 1, 2015

Using Google's 3rd Party Sign In

    Many sites now have the capability of using third party sign-in, that is, if you're signed in to  Gmail, Google+, or Facebook, you can use the same credentials to sign into a different app or website (like Thinglink, Symbaloo, or Bright Bytes).  Using this feature allows you to sign into many different websites without creating a brand new username and password for each new service.  I don't know about you, but the fewer usernames and passwords I have out there, the less opportunities exist for me to lose those credentials.

Here are a few pointers when using "Sign in with Google:"

1) Look for the third party sign-in button on log in pages (like the one above).

Use Google+ Sign-in with
2) Google will confirm that you want to give permission to the app/website to use your Gmail credentials to sign in.

3) Sometimes, the app will request other permissions, like posting to your Facebook or Google+ page on your behalf.  You can even grant the app permission to post to specific Google Circles, if you'd like. This can be adjusted by clicking the pencil to the right of the permission.  I always set my permissions to "Only You."

4) Once you have your permissions set, click the blue "Accept" button.

5) The next time you visit the app/website, if you are signed into your Gmail, you can simply lick the red "Sign in with Google" button and have access to your account.

6) In many cases, Google will integrate and "talk" with the other website, allowing you to save and share using Google Drive.  You can also add those apps through the Google Chrome Store and directly into your Google Drive.  A couple examples of this would include the WeVideo app (which saves user-created movies on Drive) and Powtoon (which saves user-made cartoons on Drive).

Some words of advice when using this:

  • Many login pages will include a place to enter your username and password; you DO NOT need to do so if you are using the "Sign in with Google" button.  
  • Using the third party sign-in DOES NOT give the website or app permission to read your emails or send you junk mail; however, it is wise to read what it is you are agreeing to.
  • I typically will only sign into educational websites with my school assigned gmail address- never personal websites (like banking, bills, games, etc.).  I've made it a priority to keep personal and professional accounts completely separate- it just seems to make sense in this digital age.
  •  I will rarely ask students to use this feature unless I've read the website's End User License Agreement and confirm that privacy is ensured.  I also double check our school district's Computer Use Agreement (sample agreement from Wilmette Public Schools, to verify that I am not asking students to do something in violation of those agreements.
  •  If something doesn't feel right about the app/ website, I will NOT use the third party sign-in button, especially if I am not sure the website will keep my information private. If I still want to use the website, though, I'll typically register with another email address and password.

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