Securing Your Computer – Internal Security : Part I

Do you have a PC or Laptop at home which is accessed by others? Well, I have a Computer at home which is used by many including me, my wife and even my students who come to me for getting trained in various computer subjects.

Do you have files on your computer that you do not want others using your computer to access?

Well, well. Microsoft’s Windows XP comes with tools that allow you to implement user level security and the best part is that you do not have to be a geek to get those features implemented.

This is a two step process and here is the first step (the second step will be available in the next post) –

STEP I: Create different Users on the Operating System.

Windows XP supports three different kinds of users on a system –
  • The Administrators – They are the users who have full control on the computer and can access any file or device on the Computer.
  • The Restricted User – These are the users who can create files, use applications installed but cannot install new software or format drives. As the name suggests, they have a restricted access to the resources on the computer.
  • Guests – These are the occasional users who are allowed to create files but these files do not get permanently stored on the computer.
To create a new user follow these steps

  1. Open the control panel. The control panel can be opened using the start menu on Windows XP.
  2. Once inside the Control Panel, open the User Accounts Applet. The user Accounts Applet will allow you to create or modify user accounts.
  3. If you want to create a new User then select the Create A New Account button on the Applet.
  4. In the dialog box that follows, type in the name of the new user. Ensure that this name is unique as this will be used to access the Windows User Account.
  5. Then click on the Next button. In the screen that follows, specify what type of account this new account will be – An administrative account or a limited / restricted account. I would suggest that you create all other accounts except yours as Limited Accounts as this will ensure safety of all your files and data.
  6. Once done, click the create account. This will get the account created. 
The purpose of this process was to create the new user accounts. So far, so good.

What is required next is the 2nd level of security to be implemented. If you do not follow the steps described below, anyone can click your username when XP starts and get access to the files and data that you did not want to share. So here is the 2nd level of steps –
Once the New Account is created, it will be displayed on the User accounts Applet.

Select the newly created account to go the page which will allow you to manage the account.

Use the options in the dialog box as described –
  •     Change the Name: This option will change the name of the user account. It asks you to enter a new name for this User Account
  •     Create a Password: This is the most essential step. You must provide passwords for all the accounts you create. This will prevent unauthorized persons from accessing your computer.
  •     Change the Picture: This option will change the Picture or Image or Avataar for the Account. The Avataar is normally displayed at the Login page of Windows XP.
  •     Delete the Account - This will delete or remove the user account.
Once done with the above steps, restart your computer to find the changes.

The major change that you should have found is that now windows displays a lot of icons on the login page where each of the Icon is followed by the User Account Name that you create.

In the next post, I will mention about the next part – How to secure your files from the multiple users that you have created in this session.
As ususal, I welcome any suggestions or queries. Please feel free to provide your feedback!!!



angryeve said...

Hi siddhartha, I just want to say you really have nice posts here. I like your blog and would definitely look at your posts on technical stuff since I'm a bit stupid with handling some things on my

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Geniuz said...

Thanks angryeve for you comment. I am a bit slow in posting here just because of the horrible Internet Connection that I have. It is down nearly evry 3rd day. Anyways, you can find articles on technical stuff, earning on the internet and many more. Hope you find them useful.

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