About password protected sharing from: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/win ... 725?auth=1
1- With Microsoft and many other OS's and NOS's inherited rights are always assumed.
For example - If I share the root of the C: drive - everything on the c: whether they are marked as shared or not is in fact shared.
At the root of the issue is that when you enabled Pubic Folder sharing Windows 7 do not enabled the public folder but \users folder.
The Public Folders are stored in a folder called "public" in the \Users directory. The net effect is that EVERY - USERS folder is Shared
when you "enable" sharing public through the network and sharing center.
2- There was comment made about not wanting your personal files and folders shared even if you share the public folder and given your user ID and password. Frankly, EVEN if this worked correctly and it does NOT, if you have a concern about this, you should never share your user id and Password EVER - all someone needs is a few second directly in front of your computer with the password and ID you have given them to get to those files. It does not take much, they already have to be close for you to share the files, one visit to the john and files are quickly copied to a flash drive! - Solution create a different ID or an id for each person who you need to share with this should be a non-admin user. There is a little more that you need to truly make sure your file are truly protected but that’s for another day.
Since, I brought up the adding of users ids and password - I want to comment on JayTF's reply it does not matter if the users is an admin user or not. The sharing permissions granted through the Networking and Sharing center when "Turn on Public Folder Sharing" is enabled grants "everyone" full access to the \users directory. SO every user has full access to the every folder under the \users directory - including the public folder as well as folders and files for any other user that has been added to that computer or domain.
My findings do not support Jimmyleo either - The parent inherent from the child - Only the parent (c:\users) has been shared maybe that has been fixed with a patch and I do not see it today.
So the sum this up..
If through the networking and sharing center, Change Advanced sharing setting, for Public Folder share you enable “turn on so anyone with network access can read and read in the public folders” is Shares the %root%\users folder and grant share permission to Everyone with full access.
This not only grants access to the public folders but all the folders for all the users on that computer. It is not just administrative users the have this access, it truly sets everyone with full access.
To make the issue worse, if you turn off public folder sharing through the network and sharing center it does nothing. The share of the %root%\users and the permissions all remain..
Surly this is not the intended or proper functions.
The work around for this simply do not use, ever, the network and sharing to enable public folder share.. do it either through fsmgmt.msc.
or go old school drill down through the drive to the specific folder you wish to share - right click go to properties --> sharing tab --> Advanced sharing button --> Click share this folder --> add the permissions for the appropriate users and apply.
IF you have already enable public folder sharing through the network and sharing center - you will need to follow that old school method to un-share the user directory.