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A common requirement of all businesses and systems is the ability to easily share and collaborate on documents and other files. There are numerous ways to do this including email and cloud storage. One often overlooked way to share files is a built in feature to almost all operating systems which allows users to share files with others connected to the same network.
If you use Apple’s OS X in your company you can share files and folders by using the Public or Shared Folder. This folder can be found by:
This folder is set up to share any files that are placed in it with other users on the same computer or network. Depending on the version of OS X you use, you may see a folder labeled Drop Box. This is a folder where you can drop files into for you to see and use, but is not related to Dropbox, the cloud storage program.
How to set up your Shared Folder
Regardless of your version of OS X, you should have Shared Folder. You can configure which files and folders you want to share by:
You’ll notice that when you click on the file you chose to share, you will see a black bar that says: Shared Folder across the top of the folder window.
You will also notice the window labeled Users identifies a number of different users, along with the privilege each has. These permissions, which you can apply, dictate what individual users can do with the shared files or folders. There are four different privileges you can assign:
Should my company use this?
Using the Shared Folder be a good way to share documents with users within the same network. However, there is little to nothing in the system to keep the files secure. If someone connects to your network, and you have allowed Everyone to see Read & Write they will be able to see, edit and possibly delete files.
It is also a good idea to be aware that the Shared Folder is set to share with anyone connected on the same network. This means that if you connect to another network that isn’t in the office, the Shared Folder will be accessible to other users on the same network. This can create a bit of a security issue. To negate this, you should turn off file sharing from the System Preferences, Sharing option if you aren’t using it, or are away from your main network.
At the very least you should ensure the sharing permissions are set in a way whereby files aren’t accidentally shared. If you would like to learn more about other ways to share files with your colleagues, please contact us, we may have a solution for you.
Published on 20th February 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.