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Explicit Permissions

I think you guys are really going to enjoy this week’s security tip. It’s a really cool way to secure files using “specific rights”. This is ideal for people who share a computer with others in the house and want to keep their private information secure.

Windows XP home and Pro give you a great amount of control over your files and by logging in through Safe Mode you can regulate who can view, read, or execute a specific file in your system. For example, you can allow your accounts rights to open a certain file but not edit or execute the files within. With the permission set that Xp offers, you really have tons of flexibility over the levels of access to files on your system.

In order to change the permissions on a file you need to access the security tab for that file and to do this we need to boot into safe mode. Once the login screen comes up choose an account (only administrator accounts will be available) and log into Windows. Highlight the file you want to set permissions on, right click then go to “permissions”. You should notice that there is now a security tab where there wasn’t before—go head and click it and you should immediately see the permissions you have to work with. The Windows panel that comes up is divided in two parts—the upper part being the list of users, and the bottom section being the available permissions you can set for them.


Basically you highlight a user in the top half and assign the permissions you want in the lower half and that’s all there is to it. Once you set all the permissions you want, log in in normally and see how the permissions affect the different accounts. Play around with this until your comfortable with manipulating the settings and you will possess another tool to help insure the security of your system.

Stay safe out there,

~ Chad