Tips for Securing Your Home Router
Seemingly minor and easily overlooked settings can still have profound security implications. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your wired or wireless home router — and by extension, your network — is as secure as possible.
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One of the handy features of Windows XP (and Windows 2000, for that
matter) compared to earlier Windows versions like 95/98/Me is its support
for user-level security, which gives you fine control over who can access
what information on a system. In this article, we'll show you how to set
up your Windows XP Professional computer so you can share files
and folders with other Windows computers on a network, while making
sure that only desired users have access.
In Windows 95/98/Me, you share data by assigning a password to a
shared folder, and anyone that knows the password can gain
access to the data. That may be adequate in a small home
network where, for example, Mom and Dad know the password to the family's
financial data, but Junior doesn't. But it isn't practical in
a networks with lots of potential users, since it's hard to
keep a password secret amongst a large group of people.
Windows XP Professional replaces password-based security with two
Simple File Sharing is enabled by default on Windows XP
Professional systems that are members of a workgroup (typically used in
small networks) rather than a domain (typically used in large corporate
networks). For full details, see our article on Simple
File Sharing. There are no passwords or access restrictions and,
with one exception described in the article, everything that's shared is
accessible by everyone on the network. Simple File Sharing is the
only type of sharing available in Windows XP Home Edition.
By disabling Simple File Sharing, you can specify an Access Control List (ACL)
for each shared disk or folder. Using an ACL gives you
much greater control over shared data, since it lets you determine
the specific users that will have access as well
as the level of access they will receive.
We'll show you how to configure Windows XP Professional to:
Create user accounts for four people: Alasdair, Fraser, Iona, and
Create shared folders called Girlstuff, Boystuff, and
Kidstuff, which will allow different levels of access to
different people. Boystuff will be accessible to Alasdair
and Fraser, Girlstuff will be accessible to Iona and Catriona,
and Kidstuff will accessible to them all;