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To share and protect…your files

Image courtesy of davidsonscott15

We all worry about the security of our data.  (And if you don’t, you probably should!)  The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse reported last year that the past 5 years have brought over a thousand data breaches in the United States alone, which in turn led to more than 320 million compromised data records.

When we hear about data breaches, most of us automatically assume it happened on some massive database run by massive servers in some massive corporation or government department.  The truth is, however, most of the data that was compromised was not in databases – it was stored in shared files, housed on computers hooked up to simple networks.

How do we protect our files that live in shared folders, at work or at home?  In the olden days of Windows, there was a simple setting to choose to password protect shared files and folders.  Since the release of Windows XP, however, things are not quite as simple.

When you’re hooked up to a network, anyone on that network can access your shared folders and files, such as your boss and any of your nosy coworkers and promotion-rivals.  Additionally, anyone that might be interested in hacking into your network would have access to your shared folder.

Fortunately, there is a way for you to protect your shared folder from prying eyes, by creating a password for the guest account on your computer.  It is through this guest account that your shared folder is technically accessed. By using the guest account workaround to protect your shared files and folders, you can continue to be hooked in to your network at home or at work, but secure your data from the prying eyes of whomever you don’t want seeing it.

Sources:

PGP, Protecting Shared Files from Compromise.

Lancelhoff.com, How to password protect a shared folder.

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