Box makes it easy to share your files and folders using shared links. While verifying and setting the access level for your links, be aware of the considerations and tools identified in this article to help manage access to your items on Box.



Many of our users and customers use open access links to share content widely as they have visibility into how their content is accessed.


Awareness of Search Engine Crawler Behavior

Search engines may display any open access link discovered by crawlers. Be aware of the following nuances in search engine crawler behavior:

  • All shared links found by the crawler are indexed and displayed in the search engine results page.
  • Displaying the link does not indicate if the document(s) in the displayed link was downloaded or parsed.
  • The name that is displayed in the search engine results page is taken from context or HTML tags, not from the content itself.

Note: If your content is sensitive and should not be accessed by crawlers, be sure to carefully review the settings for each shared link and ensure that you've set the required permissions for your content.


Do You Need Open or Restrictive Access?

Box provides a broad array of options to share content with settings that are as open or as restrictive as needed, including:

  • You can restrict access to shared links so only people from the same company or who have been specifically added as collaborators to a folder can access the content.
  • You can turn off shared links for a file or folder you own; Admins can turn off shared links for their entire organization. 
  • You can designate a default shared link option across all the content you own so you don't have to remember to change from the open option when generating new shared links. Admins on our Starter, Business, Enterprise, and Elite plans also have the ability to set this default for the entire account. 
  • You can enforce an expiration date on a link, or require that people with the shared link enter a password before they can access a file or folder. 
  • If a link is set to the open access level, shared link values are randomly generated, alpha numeric and have a large number of digits (20) to make it very difficult to guess.
  • With all shared links - including open links - Box displays a message to remind you of the permissions associated with your content.


Is Flexibility Important to You?

If  you prefer to have flexibility when allowing your files and folders to be publicly accessible, see the following additional articles:

  • Share content publicly using customized links.
  • Share files and folder using Open access links.
  • Embed files and folders in your website directly.