Places where you may want to use protection may include:
- Protecting frequently vandalized pages, such as the main page, on busy communities.
- Maintaining the integrity of the site's wordmark and favicon.
- Protecting community policy statements.
- Templates that contain complex code and/or are necessary for a particular wiki.
Temporary protection might be used for:
- Enforcing a cooldown period to stop an edit war, upon request.
- Protecting a page or image that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism.
There are three protection levels that can be chosen for each protection option. Protection levels for all protected pages can be found on Special:Protectedpages (edit, move, and upload) and Special:Protectedtitles (creation). Note: Protectedpages only lists the highest protection level and the presence of cascading protection, if applicable. A page that is fully move-protected but only semi-edit-protected would simply display as "fully protected".
- Unprotected: Allows everybody to edit and rename the page.
- Semi-protection: Prevents unregistered and non-autoconfirmed users from uploading new file versions, editing, renaming, and/or creating a page (if it does not exist). This protection level is usually sufficient for most purposes and can be set by choosing "Block new and unregistered users" in the options list.
- Full protection: Limits uploading new file versions, editing, renaming, and/or creating a page (if it does not exist) to administrators and Content Moderators. This protection level might be appropriate for a community policy page, home page, wiki wordmark, or a favicon. It can be set by choosing "Administrators and Content Moderators only" in the options list.
- Edit protection: Limits who can edit a page.
- Move protection: Limits who can rename a page. By default, the move protection level will match the edit protection level, but they can be set independently of each other as well.
- Upload protection: Limits who can upload a new version of an existing file.
- Create protection: Limits who can create a page that does not yet exist or has been deleted. This can be useful to prevent the repeated creation of unwanted or maliciously named pages.
- Cascading protection: This option extends full protection to all templates and files included on the page.
Step by step
- To protect a page, photo, or template, click on the arrow on the "edit" button next to the title to produce a dropdown menu. Then click "Protect."
- On the protection page that then appears, you can set the desired protection level.
- You may want the page move protection to be set at a different level than the editing protection. By default, they match. 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 dropdown menu or add in your own reason in the box below.
- Click "Confirm" to save your changes.
- To unprotect or change the protection for a specific page, use the Edit button dropdown to visit the protection page for it.
- Remove or alter the protection options.
- Click "Confirm" to save your changes.
Cascading protection is a form of page protection that 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. This is useful on pages, such as a wiki main page, where most of the included images and templates are used only on that page.
To use cascading protection, just click the "protect" link as usual; cascade protection is there among normal protection options. The page must be fully protected in order to activate cascading protection.
- Do not make the common mistake of protecting pages unnecessarily. A single vandalizing edit is not a reason to permanently protect a page against all edits. You should also assume editors are trying to help and contact them before taking any actions.
- Page protection levels should make sense. If a page is repeatedly vandalized by IPs, then semi-protection will stop that; full protection is not necessary. If two established editors are having an edit war, then temporary full protection of the page is needed.
- Most page protections should be temporary so that they expire when the current problem is past.
- If IP vandalism is a problem on most or all pages on a wiki, disabling anonymous editing through WikiFeatures is a better solution than mass page protection.
- Talk pages should not be protected except in extreme circumstances.