Thursday, August 19, 2010


Make Your Homegroup More Secure In Windows

Even if your PC has no sensitive data on your PC, files in your shared folders are still vulnerable to inadvertent tampering when a family member moves instead of coping a photo, deletes a song accidentally, or makes changes to one of your documents rather than saving to a new file. [ Read More Drawbacks Of Homegroup In Windows | Secure HomeGroup In Windows ]
So how to you make your homegroup more secure?

Prune your libraries
Since libraries gather files from lots of sources, it’s easy to share something you don’t want to be sharing. In the Libraries folder in Windows Explorer, right-click one of the libraries you’re sharing and select Properties. In the Library locations list, remove any folders you’d rather not share. To prune even further without hobbling your libraries, create custom libraries, next.

Make custom libraries
Only the libraries you choose to share with the homegroup are readable by Everyone. To limit what you share, open the Libraries folder in Windows Explorer and click New Library on the toolbar. Open New Library and click the Include a folder button to add folders you’d like to share.

Although custom libraries won’t appear on the HomeGroup page in Control Panel, you can share them with your homegroup via Windows Explorer. Return to the Libraries folder, highlight your new library, and from the toolbar, select Share with and then either Homegroup (Read) or Homegroup (Read/Write).
If you don’t see the Share with button on the toolbar after selecting the custom library, open the Folder Options window in Control Panel and choose the View tab. Turn on the Use Sharing Wizard option and click OK.
Change file permissions
Share permissions are different from file permissions, yet both must agree for sharing to work. Although Windows sets share permissions automatically when you share a library on a homegroup, there’s nothing stopping you from going back and revoking sharing rights for Everyone via the Sharing tab. Better yet, add some Deny rules to the file permissions (Security tab), which are not only less likely to be disrupted by Windows’ tampering, but will supersede any Allow rules Windows adds to the permissions.

Stop using Homegroups
If you’re not a member of a homegroup, you won’t have to worry about Windows being careless with your data security. But keep in mind that once you leave the homegroup, you’ll have to remove the lax permissions added to your previously shared folders, and they’ll remain open to snooping.
This is probably the best option if you have a portable computer. The last thing you want is to join a homegroup at home, and then take your laptop to work or an Internet cafe, and have all your data accessible to anyone within range. Sure, you can change your network location to Work network or Public network, if you remember, but why take the chance?
One final note about Homegroups versus traditional file sharing. If you belong to a homegroup, anyone can sit down at your PC and click View or print the homegroup password to gain access to your PC, and you’d never know it.

At least with traditional file sharing, which relies on your user account password, someone can’t get your current password quite so easily.


About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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