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Create a public folder for security settings

Read this quick tip that illustrates you how to create a public folder for security settings.

The following is tip #9 from "20 Tips on securing Outlook in 20 minutes," excerpted from a chapter in Paul Robichaux's book, Secure Messaging with Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 © 2004, published by Microsoft Press. Return to the main page for more tips on this topic.

Before you can create any settings, much less apply them, you'll need to create a top-level public folder to host the settings.

The name of the folder is critical because Outlook is hardwired to look in that folder. You have three choices: if you create a folder named Outlook 10 Security Settings, Outlook 2003 (and Outlook 2002) uses the settings there, but Outlook 2000 won't see them. If you name the folder Outlook Security Settings, Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, and Outlook 2003 use the same settings. If you create both folders, each version uses its own folder (assuming that you've properly set the client-side registry key discussed later).

Once you've created the folder (or folders), give all users Read access. Users who are allowed to change security settings should have permission to create, edit and delete items in the folder.

Once you've created the folder, you're ready to publish the template and create an instance of the form. Do the following:

1. Start Outlook.

2. Open the OutlookSecurity.oft file. Outlook will prompt you for a location to save the new item you're creating from the template. The new item is never actually saved, so it doesn't matter which folder you choose.

3. While the template is open, use the Tools | Forms | Publish Form command. Give the form a meaningful name; if you're replacing the Outlook 2000–specific version of the form, give this form the same name as the old one. Make sure you specify the security settings public folder you created as the target location for the published form! Click Publish to publish the form.

4. Close the Default Security Settings template window. When Outlook asks if you want to save changes, make sure you do not do so.

5. Switch to the General tab of the public folder Properties dialog box, then use the When Posting To The Folder, Use drop-down list to specify the published form as the default.

6. After Outlook installs the template, open the public folder, then create a new item -- name it Default Security Settings. You'll customize the default security settings by editing this item, and create new settings for different groups by creating copies of that default item or by creating new, blank entries and customizing them.

Get more "20 Tips on securing Outlook in 20 minutes!" Return to the main page.

About the author: Paul Robichaux is a partner at 3sharp LLC, author of several books on Exchange, Windows, and security, a Microsoft MVP for Exchange Server and a frequent speaker and presenter at IT industry conferences. He's written software for everyone from the U.S. National Security Agency to scientists flying their experiments aboard the Space Shuttle, fixed helicopters in the desert, and spent way too much time playing video games.

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