Privacy of Your Information - Mahara Overview

Privacy of Your Information - Mahara
Mahara allows individuals to control who can see components of their portfolio. Please take care when
sharing your MyPortfolio (Mahara) pages. In Warwick University, by default all pages and content, apart
from your profile page is private and hidden.
Remember if you share any page(s) with all logged in users then all 4000+ MyPortfolio users can see your
content. If you choose to make any of your pages public then anyone from outside of the university will
also be able to see your content.
An alternative to making content public is to use the Secret URL function, this would mean that only
people with the link can see your content. An even safer method of sharing is to share with named
individuals. Remember you can also add From and To access dates to any sharing permissions as well.
Think carefully before sharing personal or sensitive information. Sharing with named individuals or known
groups is much safer when sharing this type of information.
The remainder of this note explains what information from your portfolio you can choose to protect and
the options available to achieve this.
N.B. Further general information about Mahara privacy capabilities is available in the online Mahara
manual at but please be aware that in the setup of Mahara at Warwick there may be some differences.
What Can You Protect
In general terms, your portfolio contains one or more Collections and optionally some additional Pages
that are not part of any Collection. Within each Page, you have your individually editable blocks of
content e.g. text, attached files, images, links etc.
Mahara will allow you to put in place access controls that apply to whole Collections and to Pages
(whether within a Collection or not). You cannot set access privileges against individual blocks of content
that are on a Page nor against parts of blocks e.g. your email address on your Personal Details page
cannot have access rules set up separately to the rules for the Personal Details page itself.
The example below of how to set access privileges for a Page will explore the options available to you for
controlling access to Pages
Version: 1.0 - 2015/16
Author: CPE - TEL Team
Controlling Access To A Mahara Collection or Page
1. To review / change access controls within your
Portfolio, click on the Dashboard menu option and
then click on the Share grey box (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Share from Dashboard
2. The Share screen displays and shows those
Collections and Pages for which you can
individually set privacy controls (Figure 2)
Figure 2: List of items to share / protect
3. Click on the key icon in the Edit Access column
opposite the Collection or Page from the list
whose access rights you want to change and the
Edit Access screen is displayed (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Edit access screen (top)
N.B. Please make sure if you clicked on the key
icon opposite a Collection that only the
Collection(s) you want to change the access
rights for have tick marks beside them in Figure
3. You may select more than one Collection and
/ or Page if you wish to change the access rights
to be the same as each other.
Version: 1.0 - 2015/16
Author: CPE - TEL Team
The screen firstly shows those sets of people you can share your information with. You can:
Share With the Public (everyone can access), Registered users and / or Friends,
Share with my institutions by default this will say Warwick and,
Share with my groups allows you to share your portfolio with Mahara groups you belong to
4. Click on the plus sign to the left of any of the
above and you will be prompted to state a
period of time during which you will allow
access to that person/group/institution. For
example, Figure 4 shows the display when the
plus sign next to the institutions line is clicked.
Figure 4: Setting access periods
5. You can also search for other users or groups by
clicking on the Share with other users and
groups link which will open up the search panel.
Choose whether to search for this user from
amongst your Friends or Groups, or whether to
find them from the general list of Warwick
users. Now type in their name in the next box
and click Go. Figure 5 shows how a user’s
details are displayed if they have been found.
Clicking on the plus sign next to the individual
will again present you with the option of
allowing them to access your Collection or Page
For a limited time.
Figure 5: Allowing individual users to access your portfolio
N.B. By default, when you allow anyone to access your Collection or Page, unless you specify a time
period as shown in Figure 4, they will retain that right forever.
When you have finished defining which individuals and groups of people are to have access to your
Collection / Page, then you can (optionally) specify some more detail about the access. There are
various options relating to comments, copying and overriding start and finish dates that can be
specified if required. By default, the only advanced option that is defined is the ability for users being
allowed to make comments.
Version: 1.0 - 2015/16
Author: CPE - TEL Team
6. To open up the extra options, click on the
Advanced options link and the screen opens up
as shown in Figure 6. Each of the options there
has explanatory text on the screen – just tick
the boxes you wish to be part of your access
controls for this Collection / Page
Figure 6
Advanced options for access control
7. When you have finished specifying who can
have access to your Collection / Page and have
(optionally) set any of the Advanced access
options, scroll the screen down so you can see
the buttons at the bottom of the screen and
click on Save to implement your changes (Figure
Figure 7
Saving your changes
How Can You Check If Your Sharing Has Worked?
8. To review access controls within your Portfolio, or
to see other items that have been shared with you
and recently changed, click on the Dashboard menu
option and look at the Latest Pages area (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Latest Pages on Dashboard Screen
Version: 1.0 - 2015/16
Author: CPE - TEL Team
9. Here you will see your own pages. This does NOT
mean these pages are public as you are entitled to
see your own pages; if you are seeing other
students’ pages here this could indicate a problem
unless that student has explicitly shared that page
with you, with a group you belong to or to Warwick
University in general (Figure 9).
The Dashboard shows a view of the latest changed
pages that you have permission to see and this is
therefore potentially different for every viewer
Figure 9: Latest Pages on Dashboard Screen - Sharing
10. To check that pages are NOT public visit the
Portfolio > "Shared by me" section and doublecheck you do not have any listings that you would
not wish to be there. If you do need to make
changes, use the procedure as given above in
Controlling Access To A Mahara Collection or Page
Figure 10: Shared By Me
Version: 1.0 - 2015/16
Author: CPE - TEL Team