Windows 2000 - Read your users their rights

To make sure you give your users all the rights they deserve, such as using various applications and saving documents - but prevent them from making changes that will affect other users - you will need to add them to the appropriate user group.

It is in the security area that Windows 2000 has an advantage over Windows 9x as a home or small office operating system. Windows 2000's default security settings include three basic groups called Administrators, Power Users, and Users. Users belonging to the Administrators group have the most fun, as they are able to make system-wide changes which can affect all users; they also generally have the responsibility of upgrading and maintaining the system. Ideally, users in this group should only log on when they are making changes or updates to the system, as it leaves the system vulnerable to virus attacks.

Power Users also have much authority for changing system settings and installing programs. The only exceptions are that they are not allowed to install applications that have not been designed for Windows 2000, and they are not allowed access to some areas of the control panel. These two groups give the average user quite a lot of power, so the most appropriate group for most regular users is the Users group.

To add a user to the Users group is a simple task. First, navigate to the Control Panel and double click on the Users and Passwords icon. Click on Add, then enter the name of your user and click on the Next button. After you have assigned them a password and moved on to the next screen, it is time to add them to the Users group.

Simply select the Restricted User radio button, which is part of the Users group, and click Next. Alternatively, you may select the Others radio button and select the Users group from the drop-down list. When this user logs on they will have access to any pre-installed Windows 2000-ready applications, but they will not be able to access data files belonging to other users.

To try this feature, log back on to your system as the administrator and add another user to the Users group. Log on to the computer as this new user and save a file onto the desktop. Now log back on to the computer as the first user you created. You should not be able to see the file that was created by the previous user.

Now insert your PC World cover CD into your drive and attempt to install one of the programs located on it, such as Paint Shop Pro. If all goes to plan you should not be able to install this application. Log back on with administrator privileges and try to install the same application; you should have no problems at all, and all users who log on to the system will be able to access this application.

Windows 2000 also includes a tool called Local Users and Groups, which is easy to use and allows you to manage all your users from one window. From here you can easily create new users and select to which groups they should belong, as well as assign new passwords and other account restrictions.

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Elias Plastiras
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