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Increased Security for Your Computer

Why increased Security for your computer? It is your data only you can protect it!

Not everyone is a hacker but those that know very little about how a computer works can do a lot of damage to your data in a very short time frame ...

When you think of security what comes to mind? A policeman? A guard dog? Maybe a safe?

Note: The steps in this article will NOT work on Windows HOME versions!

Increased Security for your computer...

Well your computer has all these different components built in.

But unless you use them they are worthless. I'll explain -

When you start your computer for the first time (unless the computer is in a domain environment) normally you will have a screen with a nice little image and blank where your user ID is typed in, sometimes you will have a password, most of the time you will not.  It would not take much to get in to this computer and cause some mischief.

So how do you keep someone from getting in to your computer?

By increasing the security settings on the computer.

Increased Security for your computer instructions:

You begin with My Computer, right click on My Computer and select Manage.

Select Manage to set your security.

Go to the section that has the label 'Local Users and Groups' then click on Users in the right window.

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Click on the plus sign to expand the Users section.

What do you see? Five or so user id's?

Depending on the version of your Operating System and installed programs you are interested in three of these id's. They are:

  • Administrator
  • Your user id
  • Guest

If you have any other users then their id will be there also.

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Now you want anyone that uses this computer to log on, they need a log on ID and password this will increases you security.

First you want to use a password that is hard to guess, that is called complexity. If you use a mix of alphabet, numbers, and some special characters then a hacker will have a harder time in finding the correct passwordHackers use a Dictionary attack, see footnote at bottom of this page..

To do this you right click on the user id and select 'Set password' then type in the password you want to use, twice.

Second you may want to change the user id and also use complexity by adding a number to the user id such as a 1 or 2 like this - mary1 or Mary02. Remember that a user id and password can not contain a space!

To do this your can either double click on the text or right click on the user id and select rename.

Next you want to rename the Administrator id to something that is not guessable. By that I mean use a word that you will remember but a hacker will not know about you such as the middle name of your second child, or your fathers middle name. Then add a number to the id such as - LeRoy06 (You need to remember this user id, if you forget it and lock yourself out of the computer you will not be able log on as the Administrator to unlock your account!). Then reset the Administrator's password.

Note: In Microsoft's infinite wisdom the Administrator account for Vista, Windows 7 / 8 / 10 is disabled, once you have renamed the account and set the password then enable the account. It is useless if you leave it disabled!

Now you will need to restart the computer if you are going to do anymore work, you will get an access error because you have changed the name of the account that allows you to change parameters on some objects.

These three things will increased security for your computer by 100%.

There are more things you can do for your computer data...

1) The Guest ID is in the Guest Group, you should remove the Guest ID from the Guest Group.

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By removing the Guest accont from the Guset Group you close a door on hackers.

2) Remove the Everyone Group from the security on your storage volumes. (insure that the group Users has access!)

3) Just in case you should open the Groups in the left window and and then the Administrators Group in the right window, check to see if your user id is in this group. If not then you need to log on with the Administrator's id and add your user id to the group.

Removing the Everyone Group from a drive for increased security for your computer -

Open My computer.

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Open My Computer to access the properties of the drive.

Right click on the disk you want to change the security on, select properties.

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Select Propeties from the menu.

On the Properties page go to the Sharing tab.

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Note the tabs, we are interested in the Sharing and Security.

On a side note - if you want to share this disk here is where you would change the label from a hidden drive (Note the $ after the C) to a drive that will show up in a search. Then click the Permissions button to add the userID's you want to allow access to the drive. Be careful with the permissions, read should be sufficient unless they are transferring files to the drive then they will need write. Any thing more would allow someone to delete, change permissions, even format the drive.

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This is where you would share the drive, note the C$, the $ denotes a hidden drive.

Go to the Security tab, note the user group Everyone, highlight it and click the remove button. (Note the group Users). Do not change any rights on the Administrators group, you may lock yourself from the computer!

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....

Removing Everyone group from the security stops hackers, this is their favorite back door to your comptuer!

Click on the Apply button then the Ok button, the Everyone group has been removed. (Note: If you are sharing the drive you have to add the user ID(s) that you added when you shared the drive here also or they will not be able to access the drive).

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You could add your user ID here to increase your access to the drive.

3) Put any user ID that you consider a risk in the user group, not the Power Users or Administrators groups. (You should consider anyone as a risk that would not know that deleting certain files will cause problems with the Operating System, such as your children, your spouse - if they are not computer literate) or someone you don't trust but needs to user your computer from time to time).

4) Only put user ID's of users that you trust to not do something destructive in the Administrators or Power Users groups.

Using a complex password stopps these attacks in their tracks! Hacker and thieves use a tactic called a dictionary attack, they have a file full of words that they send one at a time to your computer as a password. They try to guess your password with this tactic until they get in or they get tired of trying to guess your password. This is done with a program, they don't type each word in like you do the program inserts the word in the password space, when it fails then it moves on to the next word, then the next, and so on until the computer is hacked, the account is locked out, or they move on to the next victim.

The image, table, or PDF was removed because it will not display on your device. Check back on a PC....

By implementing "best practices" you can secure your data...

Once you have completed your tasks you need to look at your network.

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