Security and Multiple Users

The use of multiple users on a Windows platform falls into two categories: (1) one or more users are allowed to log on to a single system, one at a time, each with his own settings (application toolbars, desktop wallpaper, etc.), and (2) a network server running Windows NT or Windows 2000 provides user authentication for an entire network. Windows Me supports only the former, and that only to a limited extent.

Now just because Windows Me allows usernames and passwords, it shouldn’t be implied that there’s any real security in a Windows Me system. The support for multiple users is for nothing more than allowing multiple configurations—that logon screen won’t prevent unauthorized persons from using your computer.

Probably the closest thing to security that Windows Me provides is the ability to password-protect shared resources, as described in Section 7.1 earlier in this chapter.

The following solutions deal with some of the issues brought up by Windows’ support of multiple users, such as the logon screen and the lack of security.

Get Rid of the Logon Screen

The logon screen that prompts you for your username and password every time you start your computer will appear if you’ve installed any network components, regardless of the existence of multiple users.

Like most of us, when asked to enter a password, you probably went ahead and did it—perhaps out of habit or some false sense of security. The problem is that now Windows will expect the password ...

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