Within your SharePoint environment, you can easily share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to seamlessly collaborate across the organization, but you need to make sure you are following best practices to ensure your content is only being seen by authorized users. SharePoint allows you to share content with external and unlicensed accounts, and if you’re not monitoring who has access, you might compromise your security.

Collaborating with External and Unlicensed Accounts in Your SharePoint Environment

When collaborating and sharing content with users in SharePoint, you can control whether links expire, who can access links, and what they can do once they have a link.

When sharing a link for a document or folder with an external user, you can either set the link to never expire, to expire after a specified number of days, or you can set it to follow the same rules as links shared internally.

For link permissions, you can choose for the link to only work for people you specify, only people in your organization, or for anyone with the link. However, sharing your link with anyone can raise security concerns, and we’ll discuss this further shortly.

When somebody who has been authorized to access the link opens a file or folder before it expires, you can choose what they are able to do with it. If it is a file, you can choose whether they can view and edit, or just view. If it is a folder, you can choose whether they can view, edit, and upload, or just view.

Best Practices for Sharing Files in Your SharePoint Environment with Unlicensed Accounts

SharePoint is a popular tool for the ease it provides when sharing content and provides a great deal of flexibility when content-sharing, but we recommend following these best practices for links to ensure your content is not being accessed by just anyone on the web:

  • Set an expiration date
    Sometimes, files are stored in a site, group, or team for long periods of time and sometimes this is necessary due to data retention policies. You should, however, ensure that you set an expiry date for any access links that you share so that you don’t see any unexpected changes to files by unauthorized users. Once links that are set to anyone expire, you can rest assured that your content can no longer be accessed. Don’t set your links to never expire!
  • Set permissions
    When sharing access, you can choose what people are able to do with the link. If set to view, you can prevent users from editing files. If set to edit, users can view, upload, and edit the content you share with them. We recommend setting link permissions to view only when sharing with external users if you want to prevent any unauthorized changes from being made to your content.
  • Set default to organization
    Anytime you send out a link, you can choose whether only specific people, users within your organization, or anyone with the link can access it. By default, you should make it so that only people within your organization can access it, and if you need to send it to somebody external then you can select the anyone option for that specific document or folder, rather than having it set to that option by default and risking accidentally sending out links that are not secure.

By following these best practices for sharing links with external or unauthorized users, you can ensure that your SharePoint environment is secure, and your data is protected.

Let Klarinet Solutions Help Manage Your SharePoint Environment

Our highly skilled, award-winning team of experts has over a decade of experience customizing digital workplace solutions for organizations and know all things SharePoint. We can help you ensure you are utilizing all capabilities provided by SharePoint to their fullest extent. From planning to post-implementation support, we are here to support your team every step of the way.

Get in touch with our digital workplace experts today to learn more about how we can help you improve your SharePoint environment by customizing a solution that closely fits your needs.

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