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UTBox, Box, Box.com - What is the Difference?

UTBox is actually a re-branded version of the Box.com cloud file sharing service. UT Austin provides an "enterprise" plan Box.com account to all current faculty, staff, and students free of charge. This Box.com account is tied to a person's UT EID account and offers enhanced features such as greatly increased available file storage space and a more secure file space that complies with the security requirements of most UT Austin Confidential data classifications. Whenever you want to share a file or folder in UTBox with someone currently affiliated with UT Austin you should always do so by sharing to their Box.com account that is tied to their UT EID account. This will ensure the most secure method of collaboration and access to all enterprise plan features. This tutorial will refer to the enterprise plan Box.com account which is tied to a person's EID account as a "UTBox account".

Collaborating with Non-UT Affiliates

UT Austin has a contract with the Box.com service that ensures any data stored within a folder created in the file space of a UTBox user complies with UT data security requirements for the types of Confidential data which are approved for use with the service. This contract DOES NOT extend to files stored in folders created in the file space included with a free Box.com account which non-UT affiliates will need to create to collaborate with you. So when collaborating with non-UT affiliates always store confidential files in folders that YOU create in YOUR UTBox file space. Do not store files containing Confidential information in folders created by a non-UT affiliate in their free Box.com file space. Doing so would be a violation of UT data security policies.

Step 1 - Gather The EID Usernames And Email Addresses of Everyone You Want to Share The Folder With

For current UT Austin faculty, staff, or students determine the UT EID username of the person you want to share your folder with. You can do this by searching for the person in the UT Directory for faculty and non-student staff. Students may or may not be in the UT Directory depending upon their privacy restrictions with the registrar's office. If you do not know a person's EID username then you may need to contact the person and ask them what it is.

For people that are not currently affiliated with the University you'll need to determine what that person's preferred email address is. When you share a file or folder with someone who isn't currently affiliated with UT Austin, they will receive an automated email informing them of your desire to share a UTBox folder with them along with a link to create a new free Box.com account if they don't already have one.



Step 2 - Log Into The UTBox Website And Initiate The Folder Sharing Invitation Process

Using your web browser go to the UTBox website at http://utbox.utexas.edu and then log in with your UT EID account credentials.

Navigate to the folder you want to share and open it by clicking on it. In the screenshot to the right, a folder named "Test" was opened in order to share it with someone.

Make Sure You Are Logged In With Your Secure UTBox Account

It's possible for you to have both a UTBox account AND a regular free "personal" Box.com account if you manually went to the Box.com website and created an account there instead of going through the http://utbox.utexas.edu website. You want to ensure you are logged in with your UTBox account which is tied to your UT EID account in order to get all of the benefits of a UTBox account including storage space that complies with Confidential data policies. You can determine that you are logged in with your UTBox account by looking at your Box homepage. If you see the familiar burnt orange color scheme along with UT branding such as the Tower logo then that means you are logged in with your Box account which is tied to your UT EID account. If you see a different color scheme like one that is all blue with no UT branding then you are not logged in with your UTBox account. If this is the case you should log out of the Box website, quit your browser program, then restart it and log in via the http://utbox.utexas.edu URL.

With the folder you want to share open in your browser you should see a Share this Folder button on the right side of your browser window. Click that button.

Check Your Folder Settings Before Sharing It

Before you start inviting people to share your folder you should make sure the folder settings are appropriate for how you intend to share its contents. Click here for suggestions on how to better secure your folder.


Step 3 - Configure The Folder Sharing Invitation

After clicking the Share this Folder button a window will pop up with options to configure whom you want to share the folder with, what permissions you want to give them, and what you want to appear in the automated folder invitation email that is sent out. Specify the following for each field in the popup window:

Invite People

  • If sharing with a current UT Austin faculty, staff, or student: Specify their UT EID username here. After you type in their EID username their full legal name should appear below this field along with an email address of the form theirEID@eid.utexas.edu. Click on the person's name when it appears to add their EID account to the invite field. If after typing an EID and you do not see their name pop up below this field that means the UTBox system could not find their user account. Double-check the EID to make sure you typed it in correctly. If you are sure it is correct then either the person is no longer affiliated with the University or there is a problem with their UTBox account.
  • If sharing with someone that is not a current UT Austin faculty, staff, or student (Non-UT Austin affiliate): Specify the person's preferred email address. They will receive a folder sharing invitation email to this address with a link to create a free Box.com account if they don't already have one associated with this email address.

Repeat the process of adding people you want to share the folder with until everyone is listed in this field.

When you invite a person to a UTBox folder that person will have the permissions you assign in that folder AND all sub-folders. You can’t individually remove the person’s access to any of the files in the folder or its sub-folders.


What is that @eid.utexas.edu email address?

That is what UT Austin calls an "Institutional Identifier (IID)". Everyone with a UT EID account that is currently affiliated with the University is assigned one and it is primarily used for services provided by 3rd parties such as UTBox. Click here for more information about the IID.

Specifying a UTBox account EID username:

Specifying the email address for someone not currently affiliated with UT Austin:

Invited Permission

Specify the level of access you want to give the people you are sharing the folder with. Click here for a more detailed description of the different permission levels.

Preview Access Doesn't Guarantee Your Data Can't Be Saved

If you grant someone "Previewer" permissions, they will only be able to view files you share with them inside their web browser provided the file you are sharing is supported by the Box preview function. This is useful if you want to share data with someone but want to discourage them from directly downloading the data. Keep in mind that a person could still take screenshots or manually write down the data you share with them. So "Previewer" access doesn't guarantee a person can't use some alternate means of copying the data.

Message (Optional)

Whatever you type in this field will appear in the invitation notification email the person(s) you are sharing the folder with will receive.


Step 4 - Send Out The Folder Sharing Invitation

After you are done filling out the invitation form, press the Send button.

At this point everyone you specified in the "Invite" field will receive an automated email notification that you wish to share the folder with them. It may take a few minutes for the emails to get sent out. After a person accepts your invitation they will be able to access the folder you shared with them with the permissions you assigned. The screenshot to the right shows an example of what one of these automated email notifications looks like.

For non-UT Austin faculty, staff, or students who do not already have a Box.com account, a link to create a free Box.com account will be in the automated email notification they receive.




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