Page protection is the ability to limit who can edit a page. Administrators have the ability to both protect and unprotect pages should the need for either arise on a wiki.
The majority of pages on a wiki should remain unprotected so to encourage all users to participate. Places where you may want to use protection may include:
- Protecting highly vandalised pages, such as the main page on busy wikis.
- Maintaining the integrity of the site's wordmark and favicon.
- Protecting the often-used texts in the MediaWiki namespace (these are protected automatically).
- Protecting documents such as minutes or policies that have gone through a formal approval process.
A temporary protection is used for:
- Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an edit war, upon request.
- Protecting a page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism or persistent edits by a banned user.
There are four protection levels admins can use when protecting a page.
- Semi-protection: protection of a page against editing by an unregistered or non-autoconfirmed user.
- Full protection: protection of a page against editing by a non-admin.
- Cascading protection: protection of a page from editing by a non-admin, as well as any other pages on the wiki linked to on the page.
- Move protection: protection of a page against moving by a non-admin.
Protecting a page
- To protect a page, photo, template, or other protectable page, click on the arrow on the “Edit” button next to the title to produce a dropdown menu. Then click “Protect.”
- When the protection screen appears, you can set the protection level, as talked about in the previous section. Do this by checking which level you want.
- You may want the page move protection to be set at a different level than the editing protection. By default, they are the same. To set a different level, select the check box in the “Move” section, then choose which protection level you would like.
- To set cascading protection, click the check box next to “Protect pages included in this page (cascading protection)”
- Select a default reason for protection in the drop down menu, or add in your own and/or additional reason in the box below.
- Click “Confirm” to save your changes.
- To unprotect a protected page, again click on the arrow on the “Edit” button.
- You can alter the protection level on the protection screen.
- Select a default reason for unprotection in the drop down menu, or add in your own and/or additional reason in the box below.
- Click “Confirm” to save your changes.
Cascading protection is a form of page protection which allows you to protect a page so that all templates and images on the page will also be protected without needing to protect them individually. When a template is vandalized, especially on a page which uses many templates, it may not be immediately obvious which page/template needs to be fixed, prolonging the amount of time that the page remains vandalized.
To use cascading protection, Just click the "protect" link as usual; cascade protect is there among normal protection options. The protection level must be "sysop" in order to activate cascading protection; it will not work at the "autoconfirmed" level, which only affects new and unregistered users.
- Do not make the common mistake of protecting pages unnecessarily.
- Do not protect a page you are involved in an edit dispute over. Admin powers are not editor privileges - admins should only act as servants to the user community at large.
- Avoid favoring one version of the article over another, unless one version is vandalism.
- Temporarily protected pages should not be left protected for very long.
- Talk pages and user talk pages are not protected except in extreme circumstances.
- The protection of a page on any particular version is not meant to express support for that version and requests should therefore not be made that the protected version be reverted to a different one.