Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Password Protecting Your SystemPassword protection is extremely important in today's computing environment. Computers have become a tremendous part of our lives, often holding personal information and valuable secrets we just can't afford to lose. Fortunately, there are easy ways to keep the prying eyes away from your data. In this article we will discuss how you can password protect files, folders and your entire system.
Protecting the System From Multiple UsersOne simple way to protect your data is to set up accounts for multiple users, assigning each individual a profile and password of their own. When users log onto the computer, they will be required to enter a username and password before reaching their customized desktop. While this will not protect the documents you have stored on the hard disk, it will however, protect your personal settings including the documents and folders saved on your desktop.
This is a solid security measure for keeping children away from sensitive files without having to password protect each individual document. After setting up accounts for multiple users, you can then password protect the system when it is in Hibernation or Standby mode.
Password Protecting System FoldersYou can also password protect entire folders by utilizing tools provided by the Windows system. To begin, simply locate a folder you want to password protect and highlight it. Right-click the folder and select "Properties." Click the "Sharing" tab and select the "Make this folder private" option. This will automatically password protect the folder with your current user password. If you don't have an assigned password, a menu will be displayed allowing you to create one. After creating and confirming your password, click "Apply" and then "OK." In order to access the folder, any user would be required to enter the password.
Password Protecting Your Screen SaverPerhaps you need to step away from the computer for a moment, but do not want to leave that important document unguarded. Sure, you probably won't be gone long but all it takes is a few minutes for someone to come along and take peek at your confidential information. This is when you should make use of your Windows security features and password protect your screen saver. With this handy feature enabled, you can leave your computer and when the screen saver appears, a password will be required to return to the desktop.
Before password protecting your screen saver, you should first consider the configuration of your power management scheme. Since you are going to need to enter a password following Hibernation of Standby mode, you should carefully think about how long the system needs to wait before these modes take effect.
To password protect your screen saver, right-click the actual Desktop and then select "Properties" from the menu. This can also be achieved by opening the Control Panel and clicking "Display." Once you have reached the Display Properties window, click the tab labeled "Screen Saver." At the bottom of the display, click the "Power" tab. When the new window opens, you will notice an option that reads "Prompt for password when computer resumes from standby." Simply mark the checkbox, click "Apply" and then "OK." This will automatically assign your password to the screen saver.
While these methods do not provide the best security from advanced hackers, they offer easy ways to password protect your system and might be enough to deter prying eyes while you're away from the computer.