Thursday, September 8, 2011

Change Windows 7 Security Features

There are a number of changes one can make with respect to Windows 7 Security Features. Some will help speed up your movement within Windows while others will increase, or decrease, performance depending on whether you choose to use it or not. Many users reading this may not be of a level to determine whether these will best suit their needs and for this, I would advise against making changes to their User Account Control and System Restore specifically. This article was created in the sense that it should provide all the options to the consumer and one should consider that certain changes may not be in their best interest depending on their level of knowledge.
 


a. Make Windows 7 Log On Automatically

If you are simply using a home computer and have no need for log on screens, you can eliminate this by the following these steps:

  1. Press Win + ‘R’ for the Run Command;
  2. Type ‘netplwiz’ and hit enter;
  3. Uncheck Users Must Enter a User Name and Password to Use this Computer and press Apply; and
  4. You will be prompted for your User Name and Password; do so and hit Enter.
Many believe this change alone to save them several seconds in system boot times.


b. Take Control of UAC

One of my biggest pet peeves of Windows is the annoying prompts each and every time one wants to install a program or make system changes. This can be changed easily by adjusting the scale in User Account Settings to a level that makes you happy with both protection and your ability to work with your computer

Simply left click on the Orb and then Icon top right of the Start Menu. Next click Change User Account Control Settings and adjust the scale to suit your needs. While there, one can also learn how to change their account type, name and picture as well as being able to manage other accounts if they are in Account Administrator.

c. Get Rid of Action Center Balloon Notification
The new Windows Action Center is a great thing for those who aren’t quite on top of their system. It is capable of pop-ups and balloons for pretty much everything under the sun that might reflect security in one way or another. I am really not a fan of always seeing that little flag with some new red mark on it to remind me that Windows doesn’t think my security is quite up to par.

 The icon can either be shut right off or not shown yet still active. Right click on the Power Icon and selecting Turn System Icons Off where you get to choose which you want and which you don’t. You can also customize them to how and when they alert you by selecting Customize Notification Icons if you don’t want to shut them off completely.
 


d. Disable System Restore
System restore is an effective tool for backing out of things such as tweaking mistakes, failed program installations and other activities that seem to leave your system damages. For this reason, consider carefully whether you want to turn it off or just leave it. Turning it off allows for performance improvement as new system backups aren’t being created in the background and, also, it allows for more computer space as it frees up some valuable disk property. I regularly back up to an external which solves my problems with respect to this.

  1. Go to Control Panel/System/System Protection and then Configure;
  2. Turn off or adjust System Protection; and
  3. Apply and then confirm Yes.
If you elect to just reduce the size of your System Restore file, create a restore point to be safe.


e. Password Protection and Encryption For Flash and External Drives

Windows 7 inclusion of Bit Locker to Go now allows a user to encrypt and password protect USB or external drives with little to no trouble at all.


  1. Go to your Computer icon, right click on the drive you wish to protect and Turn On Bitlocker;
  2. A Password screen will appear to create your password for the drive;
  3. Save or Print Your Recovery Key;
  4. Start encryption and wait until complete and that’s it!!!
The next time that you insert the disk on Windows 7 system, the password screen will open up allowing you access to your files.

 NOTE: This will only work on Windows 7 systems and the USB /external drive will not work on other OS’s once encryption is complete.


f. Log On As A Guest

A new and great feature about Windows 7 appears in its guest log on. This is a great method for allowing children to use the system as this mode places limits on making system changes, installing software or writing to the disk outside the user profile. A great security feature is that all data saved inside the profile is deleted once the user logs off.

g. Browse In Private While On Public Computers
A new feature in IE8 is the ability to open the browser in an InPrivate Browsing session that allows you to perform banking and so forth from a public location without fear of leaving behind any residue. IE will not retain anything you do in an InPrivate Browsing session. You can perform this action if you are already within IE by selecting the Safety button and then InPrivate Browsing. This will open another IE window altogether. However, you can save a few steps by using the shortcut. Right-click the desktop IE icon, click InPrivate and the windows will open in an InPrivate session already.

No comments:

Post a Comment