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How to manage a Guest Account in order that it cant see my files?

  • Windows 7
Last response: in Windows 7
January 16, 2013 1:57:45 AM

Hi, I need your help.

How can I restrict all my files in my admin normal account (all the documents, music, movies, information, etc) in order that a Guest Account in Windows 7 is unable to view and open them?

I have a pc where is located a lot of private data. A person will live in my house for a couple of days and I will not be there. In order to give access to my PC to this person but not allow that this person can see my files or open them what I need to do? I investigated and I created a guest account. My personal account has a password. But I dont want that this person through the Guest Account can view any of the files that I have in my PC. Thanks for the information, its very important for me.

More about : manage guest account order files

January 16, 2013 3:12:01 AM

If you have those documents in your "My Documents" folder or on the "Desktop" no one else other than one with a admin account will be able to view them. Windows settings prevent this by default.
If you have them stored somewhere else e.g any other location say D:, a person with guest account will be able to view them. To block them you will have to modify the security settings on that particular folder/file. Right click>Properties>Security. Click the edit option and add user Guest and set permissions to deny.(Please use google to search for video tutorials)

Now the important part.
Even if you perform the steps above it doesn't mean that your data is secure.
What you did was just restrict the "guest" from accessing the data using the installed OS.
Anyone with the right tools can still access this data.
The only way to prevent this from happening is to encrypt that data.

You can use the Windows in-built Encrypting File System or use a third-party software(e.g TrueCrypt) for this purpose.
My suggestion is that you use Windows EFS, since other software's have a bit of learning-curve.
Select the folders/files you want to protect. Right-click>properties>advanced. Check the "Encrypt contents to secure data"OK.
The files should be in green now.
If this is the first time you have used EFS you may be asked to back-up your encryption key/certificate which I strongly suggest you do. Save it to a secure location e.g your email-account for data recovery in case of possible loss of access(e.g windows re-install)

Note that the any person can still "see" i.e in the explorer the folders and files(name,type etc) if you use Windoes EFS unless they have been denied access (using method in 1st para)
But even if someone can "see" your files they cannot "access" it i.e open and view the contents as long as they don't have access to your key (hope you deleted it "securely")

It upto you to use what method you want to use.
If that guest of yours isn't that tech-savvy and you just want to prevent him from accessing your personal *cough cough* video collection :D  I wouldn't bother to encrypt them and just restrict them using security settings.
If however you are worried about theft of sensitive data(like confidential company info,etc) I would employ the strongest encryption possible.

EDIT: I think Windows EFS is available only in Professional and above. So depending on your Win7 version you may or may not be able to use EFS. In this case you will have to use a third party software.
a b $ Windows 7
January 16, 2013 3:33:34 AM

This may not be the best option but you can try this:
Right click on the folder you want to protect
Click on Properties
Click on the Security tab
Select the Guest account
Click on Edit
Check the boxes under Deny that you don't want the Guest user to be able to do.
Click on OK

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