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Virtual Combination Locks for files

By jimmyfro5 ·
Hey Fellow TechHeads
I've been reading up on allowing my laptop to print via wireless router. My HP deskjet is an older USB printer pre-wireless. I'm going to set up a home network and try again.
If I decide to set up a workgroup, how can I lock up all my PC's in the house? Do I have to list IP addresses? Please read my questions twice because I think people discount the importance and in my experience; other tech-heads have a hard time keeping it simple.

So.. I use PC Cillin. Q1:I want to only allow myself to make administrative changes such as only allowing my laptop to see the files in computer 1,2,3,4. (all of which are connected to a Dynex router.) i have a nosey young brother-in-law, and he found a way to see my LIMEWIRE DOwnloads via using our Dynex network. So, I got concerned that he could see all my hard drive files as well. My "Mothership" Desktop is HP. He mentioned that HP administrator is configured to be transparent. If he could see my limewire downloads, why can't he or the neighbor guy see into MY DOCUMENTS?

Q2: Keeping it simple, what are the steps to configure virtual combination locks (so to speak) to password protect my 4 hard-drives.
Q3: How can I allow his notebook to ONLY borrow my Dynex router/HSpeed service and block him from seeing into my file directories?

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Well here goes...

by robo_dev In reply to Virtual Combination Locks ...

First of all, your wireless network must be secured. Encryption must be enabled, and if your BIL is very tech savvy, then WEP encryption is not good enough. Encryption is to keep your neighbors off your network, and also to keep your BIL off the network.

Force him to use a wired ethernet connection.

There are several levels of protection you can apply for the BIL:

1) Set Power-on passwords for PCs, with the cases locked shut. Password protect the PCs bios setup as well, and make sure that the boot order is set so that only the hard drive can boot, not the CD-ROM or a USB device. Physically power-off each PC (do not leave them in standby mode).

2) Set passwords for the "administrator" account for each PC and also make sure that the guest account is turned off. Establish an 'administrator' level account for yourself on each PC, and make sure that no other user accounts have administrator-level access. Do not write these passwords down and leave them where the BIL may find them. Do not use passwords that are easily guessable.

3) Turn off Windows file sharing wherever possible and be sure that access to any shares are restricted to only you.

4) For the real sensitive stuff, use encryption. ( offers a free software product). You can create encrypted storage areas that NOBODY can get to (not even you, if you forget the password).

5) I'm not familiar with a Dynex router, but the main thing is that there are no hubs on your network, only ethernet switches (such as the one that is built into the router). An ethernet hub can allow packet sniffing, which would allow your BIL to launch a program that could intercept and analyze all network traffic on your LAN. Again, if you have a switch, this is not an issue, but if you have a hub, then this would be possible.

Note that Wireless networking of is a shared medium, so if the BIL is using a wireless connection, and so are you, he could packet sniff off of that connection.

6) Set strong passwords for your router as well as for any wireless devices you have. If possible, lock these devices in a place where he cannot get to them.

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