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Securing Files and Folders

When two or more people use the same computer, how do you keep each user from snooping in files and folders that should be private? How do you allow easy access to files that should be shared? And how do you keep untrained users from accidentally wiping out important files? Out of the box, anyone with a user account on a Microsoft Windows XP computer has virtually unlimited access to files and folders. In either edition of Windows XP, you can lock up your personal files and folders by selecting a single check box, even if you know nothing about security. And with Windows XP Professional and some advanced access control options, you can exercise precise control over who is able to access any file or folder on any drive.

If the bulk of your previous computing experience is with Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, or Microsoft Windows Me, the entire notion of file and folder security is probably an alien concept. Those consumer-based operating systems offer only the most rudimentary security. On the other hand, if you're a seasoned Microsoft Windows NT or Microsoft Windows 2000 user, you probably already understand the basics of access control; your challenge with Windows XP will be understanding its new and radically different Simple File Sharing interface.

This tutorial focuses exclusively on sharing and securing files among users who log on to the same computer. If you're interested in learning how to share files and folders over a network.