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Adding External Users

The whitelist allows you to give access to external users without a NetID to send and receive files with you. You will add their email and establish a password that you must communicate to them via an alternative method, such as phone or fax.

Step 1: Visit your Whitelist

Login to the DropBox using your NetID & Password if you have not already done so. Navigate to the Whitelist by clicking Whitelist from the DropBox menu. Once you see the screen on the right, click "Add New External User".

Step 2: Enter External User's Email Address

A window pops up and the rest of the page greys out. Enter the email address of the external user. The external user will need to be able to check their email account when they wish to login.

Step 3: Choose a Password and Let User Know

Choose a strong password. You need to tell the external user this password. It must *not* be a password you use for anything else. When the external user goes to download or send a file after logging in -- they will be asked for this password. Communicate the password in a secure alternate method, such as phone or fax.

What are the password requirements?
In order to ensure strong security on passwords for external users, the following are the minimum requirements for a password.

  • Be at least 7 characters long
  • include at least 3 of following: lower case, upper case, numbers, special characters/symbols
  • not be the email address, sender NetID, or other common dictionary word

Step 4: External User Added

After you click "Add" the external user has been added. You can send a file to them right away or them to you.


Frequently Asked Questions

To whom can external users send files to?
External users can only send files to Cornell community members who have added them to their whitelist.
Can I add something-l@cornell.edu to my whitelist?
No. With the exception of @med.cornell.edu and @qatar-med.cornell.edu, email addresses in the cornell.edu domain cannot be added. These users should use a Cornell NetID.
What are the password requirements?
In order to ensure strong security on passwords for external users, the following are the minimum requirements for a password.
  • Be at least 7 characters long
  • include at least 3 of following: lower case, upper case, numbers, special characters/symbols
  • not be the email address, sender NetID, or other common dictionary word
How many email addresses I can add to my whitelist?
There is no limit (within reason).
Is my whitelist private?
Yes and no. Malicious users cannot find out who is on your whitelist. However if they know an external user's email address, they can find out if they are on a whitelist -- but they won't know who.
What does requiring a password do?
When the external user goes to view the file recipients, notes, history or download the file, they will be prompted for the password. This password will apply to all files you send the external user.
Why set a whitelist password?
Setting a password for an external user on your whitelist adds an extra step in preventing a malicious user from accessing files you send to the external user. With a whitelist password, if a malicious user gained access to an external user's email account they would also need to know the whitelist password in order to download files. You should never send the whitelist password through email. The whitelist password should not be used as any other password.
What is the expiration?
You may choose 1, 3, or 6 months as the expiration time for an external user on your whitelist. At any point you may return to the whitelist and remove the user from your whitelist.
When I add an external user do they automatically receive an email?
No. A typical user may choose to add several external users and then communicate uniformly. DropBox will always notify you when an email is about to be sent and give you the option not to send it. For example when you send a file, you have the option (default is YES) to notify the recipient via email.