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Windows XP Professional: The Missing Manual by L.J. Zacker, Craig Zacker, David Pogue

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NTFS Permissions: Protecting Your Stuff

There’s one final aspect of user accounts that’s worth mentioning: NTFS permissions, a technology that’s the heart of Windows XP Pro’s security system. Using this feature, you can specify exactly which co-workers are allowed to open which files and folders on your machine. In fact, you can also specify how much access each person has. You can dictate, for example, that Gomez and Morticia aren’t allowed to open your Fourth-Quarter Projections spreadsheet at all, that Fred and Ginger can open it but not make changes, and George and Gracie can both open it and make changes.

Your colleagues will encounter the permissions you’ve set up like this in two different situations: when tapping into your machine from across the network, or when sitting down at it and logging in using their own names and passwords. In either case, the NTFS permissions you set up protect your files and folders equally well.

Tip

In Chapter 20, you can read about a very similar form of access privileges called share permissions. There’s a big difference between share permissions and the NTFS permissions described here, though: share permissions keep people out of your stuff only when they try to access your PC from over the network.

Actually, there are other differences, too. NTFS permissions offer more gradations of access, for example. And using NTFS permissions, you can declare individual files accessible or inaccessible to specific co-workers—not just folders. See Section ...

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