I don't know what this "Shared" is in the Finder's Sidebar. Can these other machines access any of my information? Should I turn this off?

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    In the system preferences, everything is unchecked for shared. And I still see two "other machines" in the shared section of the finder. – James Nov 8 '15 at 19:58
  • This doesn't mean that they have access to your PC, if everything is turned off. You can disable others to access your information but you can still access theirs, if you have ID and pw. – mgiordi Nov 9 '15 at 10:31

System preferences > Sharing

You can choose what to share and with what conditions. You can share files with other devices connected to your network, but they have to know your UserID and password, you can share printers and many other functionalities.

Obviously, you can choose to enable the sharing or not just checking the "services" on the left sidebar. If you disable everything, your "shared" folder will not be accessible.

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