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Windows 8 In Depth by Paul McFedries, Brian Knittel

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Password Protection and Simple File Sharing

On small Windows networks (that is, networks that aren’t managed by a Windows Server computer using the Domain security model), each computer is separately responsible for managing usernames and passwords. Before Windows XP, this made it difficult to securely share files across the network—you had to create accounts for each of your users on every one of your computers, using the same password for each user on each computer.

Windows XP introduced a concept called Simple File Sharing that, when enabled, entirely eliminated security for file sharing. All network access was done in the context of the Guest user account, regardless of the remote user’s actual account name. Essentially, anyone with physical ...

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