You may be sharing documents with more people than you think!

I can’t count the number of times I’ve had clients call me because they accidentally shared all the documents from all their sites with a user that should Unauthorized Accessnot have that level of access. The permissions configuration in SharePoint can be very cumbersome if it isn’t entirely understood. While Microsoft does provide a guide to help you with this, it’s still quite confusing. We’re going to shed some light on document sharing with SharePoint so you can avoid over sharing.

Common oversharing story

In this scenario, you want to share information with a specific user and block access from others. Let’s say there is a site collection that you share with external users and a specific collection you want to share with a single client. This is what most people do (what you should not do):

  1. Navigate to the site you want to share and break inheritance
  2. Add the user you want to share with to the members group in the site

It seems this may be the right thing to do. After all, you broke inheritance before adding the new user to the members group. Unfortunately, if you didn’t delete the inherited group and create a new group in the site you are sharing, you just gave your client access to any sites that use that group!

How to avoid oversharing – the easy way

This common scenario is one reason that we decided to create the Code A Site Dataroom. The easiest way to avoid oversharing in the future is by using the CAS Dataroom for SharePoint. The alternative is ensuring that everyone with access to share sites within your organization has a very strong grasp of SharePoint permissions – which is not easy.


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