Windows XP/question


Good day
In the following situation, what can you recommend.
With refer to 3 to 4 different people sharing a computer on a single network; and one does not want any one person to monopolize the network- ie. place passwords, control the network, control other peoples files, have exclusive access to others internet browsing etc
One of the persons recently added a new user and a password on windows user section that the others know nothing about.
What do you recommend the 3 or 4 people who use the computer should know so that no one secretly controls everyone data.
Another question is how does one ensure that each of the 4 users have privacy in browsing the internet and that one or one with the password user does not have exclusive access to view everything that the other 3 do on the computer.

Hi S,

There are a few ways you could go about this, but one is to make everyone who uses it a “regular” User, not an Administrator account and be sure to create separate accounts for all the users (you, or the main Administrator or controller for the office, can remain on an Administrator account to make large changes if they are needed, and control the overall Security for the system). That way, no regular user can change system settings or change other people's files/settings easily (each person will get their own Home area to save files and folders, each My Documents area will be different, as well, each person's internet browsing History, etc. will be kept in their own folder areas (the User folders, each created with their account names)).

If you make the user's home folders/area Private (and Encrypted if you want), then this helps the privacy further.

Here is how to make any folders that a user creates Private:

Here is how to change permissions on files and folders in Windows XP, with steps, from Microsoft:

You can still use Shared Folders or Public folders to share data between the users, too.
Just in case, here is how to set permissions on a shared folder for XP, as well:

You can also set up a small Client/Server network, where the Server will check and control all user access and permissions and restrict whoever you set, to access only the files you set; but if you only have one system to work from for the entire office, the steps/concepts above may be easier for now (you don't need to make a Client/Server setup).

Hopefully the instructions above can help you set up security for your system and your users – good luck with it!


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Troy M. MCSE, CNA, MCP, CST, IC3, Aplus


Hi there! Even though I am relatively new around here, I have been having great fun with PCs for over two decades now, becoming familiar with Windows through versions 3.x/9x/Me/2000/XP/2003/7/8/10. I enjoy helping others with what I feel is an exciting industry - computers are always changing, improving and offering new opportunities for learning. I look forward to assisting you with questions concerning Windows, how it interacts with your PC Hardware, configuration/settings or just general tips and ideas. Besides troubleshooting questions, feel free to ask the basics, as well. I will always start there, and I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a dumb question - we are all ‘Beginners’ at one time or another!


I am an A+ Certified, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer with Computer Service Technician and LAN Administration diplomas and over 15 years direct experience with PCs including assembly, troubleshooting/support and upgrading. I have worked for retail outlets, schools and businesses, and have been an Instructor in the past as well – helping others, just like you, understand and enjoy computers!

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