I am running Windows Vista on the family computer, which means that there are several different users. Is there a way for me to prevent other family members from accessing my school and work files or limiting access to the computer? I’ve heard Windows Vista provides some sort of feature to do this?
Windows Vista offers a new feature called Parental Controls that allow the Windows administrator designate access rights for a number of components for each user set up on your computer. Assuming that you are the administrator, you should create a separate user account for each family member using the computer.
In addition to security and Parental Controls reasons, keeping separate accounts also make sure that each user can keep his or her documents separate, thereby reducing the risk of accidental deletion, etc.
To set up Parental Controls:
1. Go to the Control Panel from the Windows Start menu.
2. Click User Accounts and Family Safety.
3. Click Parental Controls.
4. Click Continue in the User Account Control window.
5. Select the User Account from the Parental Controls window.
6. Select Parental Controls: On from the User Controls window.
Once you complete step 6, the above screen appears. Your current settings or restrictions for the account appear on the right-side of the screen. Under the Windows Settings area, you can set the following:
- Windows Vista Web Filter: Block some or allow all Web sites, forbid downloads, or choose blocked content sensibility for a user account.
- Time Limits: Determine when a user account can access the computer by selecting blocks of time for each day of the week.
- Games: Allow or forbid a user account to play games; you can block/allow a specific game or apply game ratings. Game ratings are similar to movie ratings; you can tell Vista not to let a user account access any game above a certain rating.
- Allow and Block Specific Programs: Allow or block access to specific applications on your computer for a given user account.
Once you modify any of these settings, the updated settings appear with their updated settings on the right-side of the screen.
To disable settings, simply click Off in the Parental Controls section in the above screen.