Why You Should Check Your Public Dropbox Folders
Here is a task for you. Go to Google, Bing or your preferred search engine, and enter the following search term into the search box at the top: site:http://www.dropbox.com/gallery/
What's the result? Right, 25k of unprotected Dropbox photo galleries. You can click on any of the links to see the contents of the selected gallery or folder right in your web browser. (Please note that we are not saying that Dropbox is not doing enough to inform users about that fact)
Even better, you can combine the default search with additional parameters, e.g. wallpapers, to find themed photos on Dropbox.
Second task. Search for site:http://www.dropbox.com/s/ or site:http://dl.dropbox.com/ and let me know what you find. Right, another batch of public folders hosted on Dropbox, again with the possibility to combine the standard search phrase with custom keywords for filtered results.
I'd assume that at least some of Dropbox's users do not know that their photos and data may be publicly accessible on the Internet. You see, the Dropbox photo folder, or more precisely its subfolders, is public by design. The Dropbox help explains:
The Photos folder automatically creates online galleries. Any image files you move or copy to your Photos folder are automatically included in an online gallery anyone can view from the Dropbox website. People can download the photos or view them as a slideshow. Because you don't have to deal with uploaders or uploading files through a website one by one, the Photos folder is the easiest way to make your images accessible online.
If you use the Dropbox photo folder for your pictures, you make them accessible for anyone, which includes search engine bots. The only option for you is to store the photos in a different folder to block this from happening. For that, you need to create a new photo folder in your Dropbox structure and use that folder from then on to store your images. The gallery feature however is not available in that new folder which means that other Dropbox users that you share the url with will not be able to see the photos in a gallery in their web browser.
Two folders are public by default. The photo folder and the Public folder. If you copy files into either one, you make them accessible for everyone.
You can share additional folders which are then however only accessible by users that you specify during creation.
Dropbox users may want to check their public folders to make sure that the data stored inside should indeed be public. You can move the data out of the public folders if that is not the case. (via Caschy)Advertisement