Monday, January 3, 2011

Computer Guest Accounts

I like that I password-protected entrance to my laptop. I like that I don't have any site for which I'm automatically logged in.

However, until recently, I'd inexplicably overlooked the fact that if I lend computer access to a friend or relative, they have complete access to all of my files.  Gee, that's kind of a gaping hole.

I trust my friends and family completely. That's not the issue. It's that my files are private. No explanation or excuse needed for me to want to keep them that way.

Another reason to have a guest account is to keep guests from adjusting your settings and making other changes that will surprise or irk you when you get back on. It's like lending someone your car and when you next drive it, you find that the mirrors, seats, steering wheel, and radio stations have been adjusted.

So I felt a little stupid when a cousin was telling me about applications that help people catch those who steal their laptops. For some of these apps to work, you have to set up a guest account (if you have a password-protected account). 

Doh. Even if I don't invest in an application to catch a thief, it is still a no-brainer to create a guest account on my laptop. Which I've now done.

But here's some info on laptop retrieval applications. I already mentioned whereisjenny.com's excellent article on security back here. She mentions these four applications: 

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