Securing the Windows 9.x workstation

Windows 9.x is not as security conscious as Windows 2000. Here are some extra security precautions to implement.

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Securing the Windows 9.x Workstation
Adesh Rampat

You probably have users on Windows 9.x. This tip offers some ideas for providing security on those workstations. Do you have more ideas? Why not send them in, and we'll enter you in our tips contest for some neat prizes.

Implementing security using Windows 9.x operating system requires a little more patience as opposed to a Windows NT/2000 operating system. The major reason for this is that Windows 9.x was designed without many security features. If you have users who still use the Windows 95 or 98 operating system, here is some insight when implementing security for those workstations.

Many users implement a screen saver password to prevent unwanted access to the workstation. The screen saver password by itself is not an effective means of protecting a workstation. When used, however, with additional security features mentioned below it can be an effective tool.

If implemented properly, the network logon password can be an effective form of security. Through the use of the sSystem policy editor, you can prevent someone who does not have a network password from gaining access to the workstation. When setting this up, however, make sure that the box that says, "Don't show last logon" is unchecked. This allows the previous username to be displayed in the event that someone with a valid username and password were to logon to the network using the workstation.

The Windows password offers no security. This password only identifies which user preferences to load. If there is more than one user using the workstation, the Windows password may be needed to load various user preferences.

File sharing should at all times be prohibited especially when performing Internet browsing. If the workstation is to be setup for Internet use, then disable File Sharing.

File security is generally not provided in Windows 9.x. Have users save confidential data to a server where it is better protected. If a user desires to protect a file stored on the local hard drive then in most cases the file(s) that require protection would be used by Microsoft Office Suite. The recommended approach would be to use Microsoft Office application's protection features.


Adesh Rampat has 10 years experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.

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Related Book

Microsoft® Windows® 98 Field Guide
Author : Stephen L. Nelson
Publisher : Microsoft Press
Published : Feb 2000
Summary :
MICROSOFT® WINDOWS® 98 FIELD GUIDE is the fast way to find practical answers about Microsoft® Windows® 98. With this handy reference and guide, accurate information about everything from tools to terms to techniques is always close at hand.


This was first published in July 2001

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