Set Security to Provide Access

With WebQ, you can easily provide or restrict access to your survey or quiz by setting security. Security controls who can view and respond to your survey or quiz. It also affects what information is recorded about your participants.

About Security Settings

When creating a survey or quiz with WebQ, you must select a security setting. Security provides and/or restricts access to your survey or quiz, controlling who can view and respond to it. The security setting also affects what information WebQ records about your participants, and can make a survey or quiz anonymous or confidential. Security settings are closely related to how announcements and reminders are sent; some require you to create a separate list of email addresses for announcements and reminders, while other security settings do not. This means that setting or modifying security on a survey is always a two-step process: first select a security setting, and then creating announcements (if you choose to have WebQ send announcements). The five security settings are explained below:

Anyone with a UW NetID: This security setting requires people taking the survey or quiz to log in with their UW NetID and password. Information about the participant associated with their UW NetID will be recorded in the results (unless this is a confidential research survey), including their name and email address. This setting provides the highest level of security. To send announcements and reminders, you can create a separate list of email addresses to which WebQ will send email messages about your survey or quiz.

Members of groups and/or class lists: This security setting requires people taking the survey to belong to a group you create or an official class list. Group members will be asked to log in with their UW NetID. Information about the participant associated with the UW NetID will be recorded in the results (unless this is a confidential research survey), including their name and email address. This setting provides the highest level of security. Announcements will be sent to the members of the group or class list; no additional list is needed.

People using a custom ID: This requires people taking the survey to enter a custom ID. You enter the list of custom IDs; the IDs can be from an ongoing study, or you can create them specifically for this survey or quiz. The custom ID will be recorded in the results with the participant's responses (unless this is a confidential research survey). You can associate an email address with the custom ID. If so, the email address will also be recorded in the results. This setting offers a moderate level of security. To send announcements and reminders, you can create a separate list of email addresses to which WebQ will send email messages about your survey or quiz. The email list can be associated with the custom IDs.

People with specific email addresses: This security setting sends a unique survey or quiz URL via email to each participant, using a list of email addresses you create. Participants must use the unique URL to view and respond to the survey. The email address will be recorded in the results with the participant's responses (unless this is a confidential research survey). This setting provides a moderate level of security. Announcements and reminders are sent to the email addresses provided.

Anyone: This setting allows anyone with the survey or quiz URL to take the survey or quiz. Using this setting means that your survey or quiz will be entirely anonymous. No identifying information about the participant is recorded with the results.

Tip: A regular anonymous survey will record the date and time a participant submitted responses. An anonymous research survey will not record a participant's actual date and time of submission. If you created an anonymous research survey, the security setting will be "Anyone", and you will not be able to change it.

Participants will be able to respond to an "Anyone" survey or quiz multiple times. This setting provides the lowest level of security. To send announcements and reminders, you can create a separate list of email addresses to which WebQ will send email messages about your survey or quiz.

Tip: For confidential research surveys, information about participants is not stored with the results. Instead, all responses are given a participant ID number in the results. Any identifying information, such as name, email address, and custom ID, can be viewed and correlated with the participant ID in the "Code translation table."

This chart provides a quick review of the security settings:

Setting Confidential or Anonymous Data recorded Level of security Announcements Reminders
Anyone with a UW NetID Confidential (optional) Information about the participant associated with their UW NetID High Separate list of email addresses Sent to the entire "Reminder" email list.
Members of groups and/or class lists Confidential (optional) Information about the participant associated with their UW NetID High Uses group members email addresses Sent only to those people who have not responded.
People using a custom ID Confidential (optional) Associated email address (optional) Moderate Separate list of email addresses (can be associated with IDs) If emails are associated with custom IDs, sent only to those who have not responded. If not, emails sent to the entire "Reminder" email list.
People with specific email addresses Confidential (optional) No additional data recorded Moderate Uses same list of email addresses Sent only to people who have not responded.
Anyone Anonymous No identifying information recorded Low Separate list of email addresses Sent to the entire "Reminder" email list.

Set Security for Your Survey or Quiz

To provide or restrict access to your survey, follow the steps below to set security:

WebQ Summary Page

  1. StepsActions
  2. Navigate to the "Security" page. There are two ways to get to the "Security" page. If you are building a survey or quiz for the first time, you can click Next at the bottom of the "Build Survey" or "Build Quiz" page. If you have saved a survey or quiz and are continuing, you can click Security on the "Summary" page. You will move to the "Security" page. 
  3. On the "Security" page, select an option, and then click Next. You will move to the "Edit Participants and Announcements" page.
  4. If you selected Anyone with a UW NetID or Anyone for your security setting, skip to step 7.
  5. If you selected Members of groups and/or class lists as your security setting, click Browse to select groups and/or class lists, and click ADD next to each group, class list, or section. If you don't have an existing group, you can follow these instructions to create a new group, and then select and add the group.
  6. If you selected People using a custom ID as your security setting, enter a list of custom IDs in the space provided. Be sure to either separate the IDs with commas, or enter one ID per line.
  7. If you selected People with specific email addresses as your security setting, enter a list of email addresses in the space provided. Be sure to either separate the email addresses with commas, or enter one email address per line. You can also read the instructions for creating the announcement.
  8. If you want WebQ to send email announcements and reminders about your quiz or survey, select Have WebQ send announcements when the survey is published and then follow these instructions for creating the announcement.
  9. If you have not yet published your survey or quiz, click Next to continue to set publishing dates, or click Save to save your changes and return to the Summary page.

Change Security Settings for Your Survey or Quiz

You can change the security applied to your survey or quiz at any time. Just follow the steps above to select a different security setting. It is important to note, however, that current participants might not be able to access your survey or quiz once you change the security setting. For example, if you sent announcements using a specific email addresses as your security setting, the URLs sent to those participants will not work if you change security. Changing security also affects the information recorded in results; if you change security partway through a survey or quiz, your results will not contain consistent information about participants.

If you chose to create an anonymous research survey, the security will be set to "Anyone", and you will not be able to change the security setting. If you need to use the survey content, you can make a copy of the survey and change the survey type during the copy process.

If you chose to create a confidential research survey, identifying information will always be recorded and stored separately from participant responses. If you no longer need this survey to be confidential and want all information to be stored in the results, you can make a copy of the survey and change the survey type during the copy process.

Last modified: January 3, 2014