[ISN] Secure NT Against Snoops and Other Colleagues

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Thu Mar 04 1999 - 13:15:30 PST

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    Forwarded From: Simon Taplin <stickerat_private>
    Secure NT Against Snoops and Other Colleagues
    by Scott Spanbauer
    If you're like most users, you probably don't think much about who has
    access to your PC. Do you know who's been reading your mail at night? And
    what about those performance evaluations and salary recommendations you're
    working on? Even if you work from home, you may want to keep roommates,
    spouses, or kids from accidentally deleting your files, e-mail, or
    personal finance records. 
    Windows NT provides real log-in security, user accounts, and file- access
    controls. But you don't get all those benefits until you change some
    settings. The first task is creating a user account for yourself. "What?" 
    you ask, "But I'm already 'Administrator'." And your password is probably
    password, right? NT creates the Administrator account when you first
    install, but you don't need most of its sweeping powers every day. To take
    its place, you can create a user account for yourself in the Users or
    Power Users group (the latter allows you to share directories and printers
    with others on the network). 
    To create a new user account, choose: 'Start, Programs, Administrative
    Tools (Common), User Manager' to open Windows NT's User Manager.  Next,
    select 'User, New User.' Enter a short, descriptive user name and type a
    password into the Password and Confirm Password fields.  Make the password
    something memorable that you don't need to write down, and the longer it
    is, the better--Windows NT allows up to 14 characters. Avoid words from
    the dictionary and repeating characters (like "123123"). Next, uncheck
    User Must Change Password at Next Logon, and check both User Cannot Change
    Password and Password Never Expires. The new user account will
    automatically be part of the Users group; if you'd like to add it to the
    Power Users group as well, click the Groups button, choose Power Users in
    the "Not member of" window, click Add, and click OK. Click OK again to
    create the new user account.
    While you're at it, rename the Administrator account--and choose a good
    password--to make it more difficult for anyone to break into it.  Renaming
    the account is straightforward: Simply open User Manager, select the
    account, choose 'User, Rename,' enter the new name in the "Change To"
    field, and then click OK.
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