Shared use of a computer – how can I protect my personal information?
In many families it often happens that one computer is «common property». In other words, the machine is used by both spouses and rarely children. The usual question in such cases: «How to protect your personal files and other information that should not be accessible to other users of the family computer?»
One possibility is to encrypt individual files or whole folders – an option which is present in Windows, but if someone is authenticated in the system with your account, the operating system automatically decrypts them and make it available. Of course, you can always use third-party software for encryption, but this means that every time you’ll need encrypted file, you will have to unlock it manually, and it’s not practical.
The most simple and obvious solution is to create an account for each user who uses your computer. However, if you work with your computer other members of your family is the irregular cases and to create a separate account for each of them you do not want, it is a good idea, if you provide them with so-called Guest account (the account «Guest»).
After logging in this way, the user won’t see the encrypted files, and personal, which are managed by your account. Moreover, the «guest» will not be allowed to install software/devices and change system settings.
Guest account – how?
The procedure for activating such accounts is extremely simple. You need to go to: control Panel -> user Accounts and Family safety -> user Accounts -> Manage another account. You will see a list of icons for each account on a specific computer.
The account is marked as «Guest», is disabled by default. To enable this, simply click on it and then select «Enable».
Users logged in with this account, you will not be able to access password-protected files, folders or settings. Moreover, they will not see and the information stored in the personal folders like «Documents», for example. And they will not be allowed to run certain programs.
It should be noted that you can restrict access to certain files/folders, and users with a standard user account. To do this, right-click the mouse on files or folders that you want to protect, select «Properties» from the context menu, and then click the tab «Security». Here you can change individual access rights for each user or group of users. It’s an option that can be applied to individual files and entire folders and disk devices.
And one of the new features in Windows 8.1 provides a more subtle restriction of access – the so-called «Restricted». In this mode, the user will have access to only one Windows store app of your choice. For example, if you choose the web browser, the user can actually use the system only for web surfing and anything else.