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Chapter 13. Managing User Accounts > How User Accounts Control Access to Your C...

How User Accounts Control Access to Your Computer

In addition to personalization, user accounts form the basis of security in Windows XP. Every object on a Windows XP–based computer—files, folders, and printers, for example—includes a list of which users are allowed to access the object and what each user who has access is allowed to do. (For example, a file might be configured so that certain users can read the file but not modify it.)

Note

Only folders and files on NTFS–formatted disk drives have this sort of security. Disk drives formatted using the FAT or FAT32 file systems are wide open to any user who wants to look at, modify, or delete folders and files—whether maliciously or inadvertently. This is one of the key reasons I strongly recommend that you use NTFS rather than FAT or FAT32.



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