At OnlineGroups.net we have recently added a new privacy setting, restricted, which is very useful for large sites.
Access to your groups can be limited in many ways: who can view the group, who can view the posts, who can join the group, who can post to the group, who can receive posts, and who can modify the group. We make things easier for you by providing three privacy settings:
- The posts in public groups can be seen by everyone, including search engines. In addition, anyone can join a public group.
- Private groups only show the posts to group members, but everyone can see that the group exists. People must request membership of a private group.
- The existence of secret groups are only shown to signed in group members. The group administrator needs to add people to a secret group.
We have recently made it easy to change to a new privacy level: restricted.
Restricted groups are only visible to the members of a site. They are useful when you have a site with many related groups. People only want to be members of some groups, but they would also like to keep an eye on what is happening in other groups: maybe they can be linked to a particularly interesting topic, for example. In this way they are similar to public groups, but they can only be seen by site members.
Restricted groups have been around for a while, but they have always taken manual intervention by us to set up. Now you can switch to a restricted group by visiting the Group privacy page — linked from the Group section of the Admin area of the group page. Just select Restricted and click the Change button.
Restricted groups only work where you control the membership of the site. They provide little security if you have a public group on your site.