SharePoint Online: How to Create Alerts in Office 365 Security & Compliance Center?

The Office 365 Security & Compliance Center is a central location in Microsoft 365 where you can manage security and compliance features for your organization. One of the features of the Security & Compliance Center is the ability to set up alerts to notify you of potential security or compliance issues. The Office 365 Compliance & Security center lets you create alerts for specific events in SharePoint Online sites, such as permission changes, file-folder manipulation, etc. Let’s see how to create an alert when someone shares a file or folder with external users in SharePoint Online:

Create Alert Policy for SharePoint Online in Security & Compliance Center

Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center is a powerful tool for managing security and compliance in your organization. By using the alert feature, you can stay informed and proactive in maintaining the security and compliance of your SharePoint Online environment. Here are the steps to create alerts in Office 365 security & compliance site:

  1. Login to Office 365 Security & Compliance Center at
  2. Expand “Alerts” in left navigation >> Click on “Alert Policies” >> Click on the “New Alert Policy” button.
    create alert policy
  3. Provide a name for your alert, add description, severity and select category and click on “Next” create new alert policy
  4. Select the Activity from the drop-down. In my case, I’ve selected “Shared file externally”. Choose when to trigger an alert. You can also add a condition for this alert. E.g. events on a specific site collection. configure alert settings
  5. Configure recipients (Users to whom the alerts will be sent) and daily notification limits.
  6.  Review the alert settings and click on the “Finish” button to complete creating the alert.
    complete creating alert

Once you have set up an alert policy, You should see the “Alert Policy has been created” popup message. And you will be notified of any potential issues that match the criteria you specified. You can then take appropriate action to address the issue. Here is the alert in action when someone shares a file or folder with external users:

alert email from compliance center


In conclusion, setting up alerts for SharePoint Online in the Microsoft 365 Security & Compliance Center is a useful way to stay informed of potential issues in your organization. Following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily create an alert policy to notify you of any issues that match your criteria. This can help you to quickly identify and address any issues that may arise in your SharePoint Online environment. Whether you are new to SharePoint Online or are an experienced user, setting up alerts is an important step in maintaining the security and compliance of your organization’s data.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

One thought on “SharePoint Online: How to Create Alerts in Office 365 Security & Compliance Center?

  • We have confidential files on a specific SharePoint site and we need to set up auditing if a file ends up locally on a computer. I set up an alert to audit if someone downloads a file or syncs a file locally to their computer from this specific site. The alerts work if a user selects download from the menu option or syncs and opens a file locally. However, it does not track an alert if a user selects Save As and chooses a local folder. Is there a way to capture that activity?


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