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Chapter 15. Joining, Compressing, and En... > Encrypting Files and Folders

15.3. Encrypting Files and Folders

If your My Documents folder contains nothing but laundry lists and letters to your mom, data security is probably not a major concern for you. But if there's some stuff on your hard drive that you'd rather keep private—you know who you are—Windows XP Professional can help you out. The Encrypting File System (EFS) is an NTFS feature that stores your data in a coded format that only you can read.

Disk Quotas

Does one of your account holders have a tendency to become a bit overzealous about downloading stuff from the Web, threatening to overrun your hard drive with shareware junk and MP3 files? Fortunately, it's easy enough for you, the wise administrator, to curb such behavior among holders of Limited accounts (if your drive uses NTFS formatting, as described in Section A.4).

Just choose Start→My Computer. Right-click the hard drive icon; in the Properties dialog box, click the Quota tab (shown here). Turn on "Enable quota management" to un-dim the other options.

You might start by turning on "Deny disk space to users exceeding quota limit." This, of course, is exactly the kind of muzzle you were hoping to place on out-of-control downloaders. The instant they try to save or download a file that pushes their stuff over the limit, an "Insufficient disk space" message appears. They'll simply have to delete some of their other files to make room.

Use the "Limit disk space to __" controls to specify the cap you want to put on each account holder. Using these controls, you can specify a certain number of kilobytes (KB), megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB)—or even terabytes (TB), petabytes (PB), or exabytes (EB). (Then write a letter to PC World and tell the editors where you bought a multi-exabyte hard drive.)

You can also set up a disk-space limit ("Set warning level to ___") that will make a warning appear—not to the mad downloader, but to you, the administrator. By clicking the Quota Entries button, you get a little report that shows exactly how much disk space each of your account holders has used up. (This is where you'll see the warning, as a written notation.)

You may have noticed that Windows lets you set a space limit (and a warning) even if "Enable quota management" isn't turned on. You'd set things up that way if you just want to track your underlings' disk usage without actually limiting them.

When you click OK, Windows warns you that it's about to take some time to calculate just how much disk space each account holder has used so far.



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