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Newbie to File Encryption

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  • Newbie to File Encryption

    As I am the sole operator of my home-based PC - apart from family - I have , so far , operated this without a password on log-in - i.e. I have a "blank" password.

    The other day I was reading about security in general and and it struck me that I should encrypt some of my Folders containing financial details - ( these details are not in "open" form - i.e. they are coded in a way that I can understand the data but they're by no means "foolproof") - and , to this end , I read about file encryption in XP Pro.

    However , as I have no "log-on" password to XP Pro , it srikes me that there is no point encrypting files unless I protect myself further by using a log-on password.

    Is this a correct interpretation of my situation ?

    Is it the case that , with a "blank" password anyone logging-on to my PC would be able to read any such encrypted files ?

  • #2
    Re: Newbie to File Encryption

    You are correct, anyone who has your username and (lack of) password can log on as you and access your encrypted files.

    Note if you change the password via computer management, it will generate a new encryption certificate and block access to the files, so go carefully

    I have moved this out of the office 2003 forum as it is not really relevant - after 109 posts you should know this!
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Newbie to File Encryption

      Originally posted by Ossian View Post
      You are correct, anyone who has your username and (lack of) password can log on as you and access your encrypted files.

      Note if you change the password via computer management, it will generate a new encryption certificate and block access to the files, so go carefully

      Thanks

      I have moved this out of the office 2003 forum as it is not really relevant - after 109 posts you should know this!
      Apologies ! You're correct - I should know that . In fact I did know it - it was entered in the office 2003 forum in error.

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      • #4
        Re: Newbie to File Encryption

        Well if you are using a third-party application like PGP with a very strong password set, then I doubt that just anyone using your PC would have quick access to the private files that you encrypted using the PGP encryption.

        Basic windows xp encryption however, can be accessed by other users, unless you specify restrictions, i.e. account login and password information.

        I would suggest that you put a password in your windows welcome screen. Remote Desktop connections can be a little bit safer with that around.

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