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Secure file sharing using Office 365

With online collaboration being more present in our lives, collaborating safely and securely is more important than ever. Sharing documents using incorrect processes risk sensitive data and information ending up in the wrong hands.

In the below videos, we share some advice and best practices on safe file sharing whilst using the Office 365 environment to ensure that you can share files confidently and securely.

SharePoint vs OneDrive

Watch the below video to learn about the difference between SharePoint and OneDrive.


Video transcript

Let’s start by talking about SharePoint and OneDrive.

OneDrive is an online storage space for your files that enables you to work from anywhere as long as you are logged into your Office 365 account with your nhs.net email address. With OneDrive you can collaborate with multiple colleagues on documents simultaneously and work easily across your devices.

SharePoint is like OneDrive but for your whole team. Files shared in Microsoft Teams are stored in SharePoint as are websites like Yammer.

Public Teams and Private Teams

It’s also important to understand whether the information you are sharing is made available in a Public or Private Team. In this video, we explain the differences and how you can check the status of your Team.


Video transcript

Let’s say you want to share a file using Microsoft Teams. Before you publish any files on SharePoint or Microsoft Teams, consider who you want to have access to the information. Always check if you are working on a public Team as public Teams allow anyone with an nhs.net email address to see the files, more than 1.5 million people. If a confidential file is uploaded into a public Team, it could fall into the wrong hands and cause negative consequences.

You can check if you are working in a public or private Team on SharePoint or through Microsoft Teams. In Microsoft Teams head to the Teams tab and select the Team that you want to upload your file into. Then select “Open in SharePoint”  in the top right corner. In SharePoint the privacy status of your team will appear in the top righthand corner.

Remember if you are in a public team anyone with an nhs.net email address will be able to access your file.

How to upload files

Now that you have confirmed the status of your Team, find out how to upload files to Microsoft Teams and/ or SharePoint so that they can be shared with colleagues.

How to upload a file to Microsoft Teams


Video transcript

After confirming the status of your Team and ensuring that you are happy with where you want to upload your file, navigate to the “Files” tab in of your Teams space and drag and drop the file from your computer into the space. Alternatively, you can select “Upload” and choose to upload a file or folder into the space. Then click on “open” to confirm your selection. 

How to upload a file to SharePoint


Video transcript

The same applies for SharePoint. Either drag and drop a file from your Computer into your web browser with the SharePoint site open or select “Upload” and choose whether to upload a file or folder. Then select the item you would like to upload and click “open” to confirm the item that you would like to upload.

How to share a file for collaboration

In the below videos, we explain two scenarios for sharing files for collaboration with colleagues by editing the share settings of a file and creating a shareable link.

Sharing a file with your team


Video transcript

If you want to share a file with your team for collaboration. First check where you are intending to upload this file and the team that will have access to it.

You can then upload this file onto your files tab of Microsoft Teams, or in the corresponding folder on SharePoint.

To set editing rights open the folder where the file is stored in SharePoint, click the ellipsis and select share. The default share setting is “People you share with can view”.  Click this to see more link setting options. Then click allow editing and apply. Then either enter the recipients names and/ or email addresses in the address box and click send. The recipients will receive the file via email.

Alternatively, you can copy the link and send it to them on Teams.

Sharing a file securely in a public Team


Video transcript

If you want to share a file to collaborate with colleagues but work in a public team, you can set up a private channel within a Microsoft Team to limit the people who can access the files. You will be able to add specific people to the channel.

To set up a channel, open the Team you want to create the channel in and click on the ellipsis. Then click “Add channel”. You can name the channel, then select the Privacy settings us “private”, then click “Next” to confirm. You can then choose the members you want to work with and add them to the channel or you can skip this step for now.

You can also add additional members to your channel at a later stage, by clicking on the ellipsis in the top righthand corner in your channel. Select “Add members”, then enter the names of the people you would like to add and click “Done”.

Find more tools and guidance to help you.


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Last Reviewed Date 04/11/2021
Updated on 05/07/2022

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