Last week thousands of you joined us for a webinar about SmugMug’s latest, greatest feature: Private Sharing. (Did you miss it? No worries. We recorded it for you!)
We’re thrilled that you were as excited as we were about it. We received some fantastic questions during the webinar and after. Below are all the answers to the questions you had about Private Sharing.
Don’t see your question among the FAQs? Feel free to ask it in the comments or send it to our Support Heroes, who are always standing by to help.
How does this affect my current privacy and security settings?
We haven’t changed your existing privacy and security settings. Everything you had visible before is still visible, and anything you had locked down is still protected and under wraps. In other words, your passwords remain intact, Unlisted galleries are still Unlisted, and Private galleries are still available only to you.
The settings tab was renamed and the security drop-downs look a bit different, but the settings are the same as when you set them.
Where did the Security & Privacy tab go?
The settings didn’t go anywhere, but we’ve split them into two new tabs: Security & Sharing and Photo Protection. All your Access and Visibility toggles are in Security & Sharing. Your photo-protection settings—like external embedding and right-click protection—are now located in the Photo Protection tab.
How do I change my privacy and security settings now?
Everything’s still in your Settings menu for galleries, folders, and pages. You can find them in the Security & Sharing tab.
Where can I find the private sharing settings?
You’ll find your private-sharing options in the Security & Sharing tab, too! Set any gallery, folder, or page to be accessible by “People I Choose” to enable private sharing. You can manage your invitations within the contextual Settings, or from your Account Settings using the Contacts tab.
To secure your entire site with private sharing, visit your Account Settings and select the Privacy tab. At the very top, change your Site Access to “People I Choose.”
How do I set my password now?
For gallery, folder, and page passwords, you’ll create them in the Settings > Security & Sharing tab. Change your Access to “People with Password,” then create your password and password hint the same way you did before.
To set a sitewide password, visit your Account Settings and select the Privacy tab. At the very top, change your Site Access to “People with Password.” Create your password and password hint, save and exit, and you’re set!
Can Google find my privately shared photos?
If you have your Security & Sharing Visibility set to “Public,” and you have Web Searchable enabled, Google and other search engines will be able to see that a gallery, folder, or page exists, but they (and anyone not invited) won’t be able to see the photos within. If you don’t want Google to know the photos exist at all, we recommend changing the Visibility to “Unlisted” and disabling Web Searchability.
What can my guests do with their Guest Account?
They can view and enjoy all the photos you’ve privately shared with them, as well as comment on SmugMug users’ photos. They won’t have access to any other SmugMug features unless they upgrade to a full account.
Can my guests upload photos to the privately shared gallery?
Only if you allow it! You can control this using the Guest Upload setting for the gallery.
How is this different from Sharegroups?
The sharing part might look really similar to your users, but the privacy of your photos is entirely within your control when using Private Sharing. If you share a group of galleries using a Sharegroup link, your friends and family could forward that link to anyone—allowing strangers and folks you may not have intended to view your Sharegroup photos.
With Private Sharing, each invitation link is unique and tied only to your friend’s SmugMug account. Once their invitation is redeemed, it doesn’t matter if they forward their invitation link to others. No one else would be able to use it or accidentally gain access to your photos.
Use Sharegroups if you want to share a group of galleries that you don’t mind others viewing if the link gets passed around. Use Private Sharing if you want to ensure your photos remain completely private and inaccessible to anyone you didn’t intend.
What about my Pro brand? When my clients sign up for a guest account, will they see my brand or SmugMug’s?
Once your client clicks to view any privately shared photos, they’ll see your site branding. On their own account page, which contains all the links to shared photos, your client will see a very basic SmugMug-brand page. It looks like this:
Is there any way to import an email list?
Not yet, but that’s a great feature request!
Can I customize the invitation email?
Not currently, but we’ll add it to our feature requests.
If a gallery is Public and then you share it with someone specifically, is it no longer Public and only viewable by the invited people?
No, you’re actually tweaking two different settings. Visibility (Public) and Access (Share with People I Choose) are settings that operate independently of each other. “Public” Visibility means anyone on the Internet can see that something exists on your site—so they could come across your galleries by browsing your site. Access controls whether they can actually get in to view the content.
If you have a gallery set to Public visibility and People I Choose for access, and a stranger finds the privately shared gallery through a search then clicks on it, they won’t be able to see anything within that gallery. Instead they’ll see an error message alerting them that the photos are private and can only be viewed if they’re invited.
Tip: To avoid having even a preview image show, double-check that you don’t have a feature image selected in your private gallery’s settings.
If you want to prevent your privately shared galleries from even showing up in searches, you can turn off web searchability in your Account Settings and change the gallery’s visibility to Unlisted.
Does private sharing work with the SmugMug mobile app?
Not yet, but we’re actively working on it!
If I add a new email address to a gallery I’ve privately shared with others, will only the new address receive an invitation when I save?
Yes. We won’t send new invitations to people you’ve already invited previously.
If I add new galleries to folders that I’ve privately shared, or new photos to galleries, will my private guests receive a notification that I’ve added content?
Not at this time.
If I privately share a folder, does that automatically give the people I choose access to all subfolders and galleries within that folder?
Yes. The access you set at the highest level will override any access settings applied to anything within that level. This is also true if you choose to use sitewide Private Sharing in your Account Settings. Anyone invited to privately view your site will have access to all your visible galleries, and you won’t be able to choose a different access setting for individual galleries. However, you can invite additional people at the gallery or page level.
If you choose to use sitewide private sharing, you can still send individual invitations for each gallery, folder, or page, and all your galleries will be protected with Private Sharing. And if you invite someone privately to view your entire site, then they’ll have access to everything on your site.
In other words, if you have email@example.com invited to privately view your entire site, you can’t exclude him from the Making-Fun-Of-Crazy-Uncle gallery via gallery settings.
However, you can completely restrict galleries from everyone, even invited guests, by setting the Visibility to “Private (Only Me).”
On my Shared with Me page, will it show galleries from multiple SmugMug users?
Yep! Anyone who’s shared photos with you will appear on your Shared with Me page. No more hunting down stray links or gallery passwords. Everything shared with you, no matter who shared it, will be in one place for your viewing.
Can photos appear on my Shared with Me page without my knowledge?
Nope! You have full control over what shows up on your Shared with Me page. You still need to accept each invitation for privately shared photos, so you’ll only see what you choose to see.