General Question

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Privacy Issue: Windows and public library of photos...what is this?

Asked by DarlingRhadamanthus (11266points) May 30th, 2011

I got online today to retrieve one of my jpegs. I noticed something that I had not noticed before. It said, “You are storing your photos in two LIBRARIES…” And I thought, “What?” And it then said that there was a “default” storage library and a “public library” where my photos/jpegs were being stored.

What does this mean? I never authorized anyone to make my jpegs/photos public. And it is marked “public photos”. I am afraid to open the file because I don’t want the photos to be downloaded onto that (if it is empty). What can I do to stop this? Or to simply get rid of any public files (which I never authorized.)

Argh. Any information on this? I got this new computer a few months ago….and I know that this was not on Vista (this is Windows 7.)

Thanks for your help.

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4 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

I think if you hover your cursor over the title of the “Public library” folder, it’ll either tell you how many files it contains or that it’s empty.

That way you can see whether there are any files in that folder without opening it.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Opening the files won’t put you at any more risk.
Public, in this case, means shared with all the other users of the computer. Like when you sign on, you have your account and password, and a guest account, and maybe your spouse or kids who share the computer have their own accounts? Things in public can be accessed by everyone on the computer, but it’s not public like on the internet.
Libraries in Windows 7 are just a collection of all folders by media type. So for instance, I have all my classical music in a different folder than all my other music. But when I click on my Music Library, I can see all the songs I have on my computer in one place.

WasCy's avatar

Windows 7 has changed some things from how Windows used to operate. (I’m just getting used to the changes, myself.)

One of the changes is that what used to be all stored under “My Documents” and was closed off to everyone else can now optionally be stored under either Public or Private ‘libraries’. “Public” does not necessarily mean “anyone can see them”, but it does mean that “anyone who uses your computer” can see them.

You’re not at risk from the general public, only other users of the computer that you’re on.

If I find a good (simple) tutorial on the topic then I’ll post it here for you.

Edit: Maybe this will help a bit

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Thank you all so much for clarifying this for me. I really appreciate it…and can rest a bit easier. I don’t have anything I wouldn’t mind friends/colleagues seeing. For me, it’s the idea that I am putting things on my computer that someone I have absolutely no clue about is doing it.

Lurve coming….thank you!

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