Slack just announced their latest ‘take-over-the-business-world’ feature, which aims to let you easily send a direct message to anyone who works for another company … assuming they’re using Slack, at least. Here’s how to turn off Slack Connect before PR companies start spamming you.
Wait, why disable Slack Connect?
With Slack Connect you can already share channels with other organizations, and now you can send and receive DMs with anyone at another organization. For channels you can configure who can share channels, and by default it is set to only allow admins to approve those requests, but for direct messages it is set up so that everyone can send and receive DMs by default.
This feature is likely to become very useful, but it is also likely to be abused by spammers, aggressive marketers, and even hackers trying to trick your employees into revealing trade secrets. From a security standpoint, it’s best to start with an educated reason for using the feature, then enable it for what you need it for.
Disable Slack Connect
Luckily, Slack has a ton of configuration options, and you can turn the whole thing off. Click or tap your company name in the app, go to “Settings & Management” and then to “WorkSpace Settings”.
Select the Permissions tab here.
Now you can configure Slack Connect for channels by either unchecking “Enable New Shared Channels” to disable the whole thing, or by changing the default setting of “Everyone” to something more restrictive. There is no doubt that the feature can be used usefully, but it makes much more sense to let administrators make the decisions about how to share channels with other organizations.
Scroll down a bit further and uncheck the box for ‘Enable file upload and sharing’ to stop sharing files with other companies.
Then uncheck the box labeled ‘Enable Slack Connect for direct messages’ to disable the ability to send or receive messages from people outside your organization.
You can also leave Slack Connect enabled for direct messages, but only allow admins to use it if you prefer, but that probably takes most of the power away from the feature so it’s more of an all-or-nothing situation .