Security for Files and Folders


Old 02-17-01, 08:35 AM
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Subject: Security for Files and Folders.

On the topic of computer security in windows '98, the OEM system has a program selection to hide files and folders. In my opinion, a plain false sense of a real security program.

Making a file or folder hidden from view, may fool some users initially but it actually offers you no real security. A right click, then selecting make visable and POUF, your file or folder is displayed.

OOOPS! this a "cat out of the bag"???...

Depending solely on your personal useage of the computer, to your embarrassment or horrible amazement, your hidden stuff {dirty laundry???}is now again made public...

If you have one or several more personal and/or business files that really do need to be secured from inquisitive eyes, about the only real security is to save them on a zip drive disk, secured with a password.

Warning note:
If you do use a password on a zip drive disk, do not forget that password!... Read the zip drive instructions first!

Failure to fully read, comprehend and follow those instructions precisely, anything you have stored on that zip disk is...simply gone forever... You will not be able to open the disk!

Be aware that windows also makes a template of everything stored in the "My Documents" folder. Simply moving a completed document onto a floppy disk or into a zip disk folder, then deleting the document in My Documents, does not remove all evidence of it.

Althought windows won't be able to locate the file, it will still display evidence of it in the form of a template. You'll also have to remove/delect the template file. Then empty the trash can.

To verify this, go to the start button and click it. Then go to documents. There you'll find the evidence, in the form of template files, a trail of your prior files. These will also have to be deleted! Once this is done, then empty the trash can/recycle bin.

The above information is NOT intended to find a solution to maintaining security on the computers hard drive. This is NOT a problem with the windows operating system. It's simply intended as an understanding and explaination of how the system works.

The only intent here is to build a consensus for the topic.
If you do find this information to be correct, please post your agreement with it.

If you do not find this information to be correct, then kindly post why along with the correct methods.

Your computers system may not have this feature.
There is no need to post solutions.

Once a consensus of your replies is established, the intent of this topic will be complete. A means of helping enlighten others.

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Old 02-17-01, 10:07 PM
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Not sure what you are trying to protect, but if it were a Microsoft Word or Excel document, they both have the ability to password protect any document.
Old 02-18-01, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for your input on the subject.
To answer your question:

As I stated in my posting, the OEM word program found in windows '98 does not have the ability to password protect a document. Unless I have a totally different word program then standard, the OEM word program is Microsofts Works 4.0 Word Processor and not the Excel or the Microsoft Word software programs.

Those two other programs may have within their own codes the ability to password protect a document. Such is not the case for the OEM program, to the best of my knowledge.

If your not sure of the reason why I or someone else would want to protect a document on their computer, please reread my 4th paragraph. The idea is to protect from view any business proposals, patent drafts, official communications, etc. from prying/curious eyes.

Depending on the useage of your own personal computer, such uses may not apply in your case. However, for others including myself, personal, professional and business work may all done on the same computer. Therefore is the need.

To your credit and based on your input, you made an a valid point. However, not one I nor my partners hadn't already considered. The need to purchase the optional software programs.

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Old 02-18-01, 12:21 PM
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In today's age of high technology and for every person/company trying to write software, or come up with iron clad secure methods of hiding and protecting their work from undesireables; there is another person out there trying to find a way to prove they get around it and bust into your secure system.

Windows 95 /98 /ME basicly has no real security, absolutely nothing the computer literate can't bypass with little effort.

There are programs specificly written to scan hard drives or network drives for passwords, they are available on some warez sites (pirate sites), they even have on some warez sites software that will help you hack into network systems, or scan the internet for open ports. There thousands of possible ports from your computer that input and output data to and from the internet, of those there is maybe a dozen or less that actually is comonly used. For example ftp uses a default port of 21, although other numbers can be used.

Run a firewall if your concerned about internet security, ZONE ALARM is a free firewall (if for personal use), they basicly work in that you decide what software is allowed to excess the internet, and you decide if the software is allowed server priviledges. The firewall generally only excepts data from sites in which you have put out a request to get, it won't allow data requests to pass if it was not requested. ports not open, won't even exist to a port scanner. However sometimes if you have a home networking system , you might have a problem with certain firewalls or will at least have to lower your level of defence. Black Ice Defender is also a very good firewall, but is not offered for free.

Another route is you have a file that can do damage if unauthorized persons got a hold of it, then copy on floppy or burn it on a cd, or zip drive, lock it up and erase it from the hard drive. What is not on the drive can't be found, Not always very pratical. Plus it is really not truely erased until new files are written over. Until new files are written, special softare and/or people in the know can recover and bring the deleted file back to life.

Windows 2000 and NT does offer better file security.

As far as files on your computer in relation to others using the same computer, if it is at home, you should be able to trust your own family, if it is at work, if security is a problem perhaps windows 2000 or NT should be running as it does offer a greater level of security.

I really have nothing on my system at home that anyone would be interested in anyway, at least I wouldn't think so. Except maybe that software that I may have copied and forgot to...well that's another story..#&*(@

The internet can really be sumed up in the following sentence...

It is everything you ever wanted and everything you ever dreamed up , there is almost nothing that you can't find on the internet; but it also has everything you ever hated and dispised, and it all comes under the name INTERNET.

On the internet you can get detailled plans and instructions on how to make a nuclear bomb (although some of parts may be difficult to find), but detailed plans on how to make any conceiveale bomb in also on there (with parts that can easily be found in your local stores), this is all under the heading of freedom of information and is posted for you to gain knowledge on the subject, meaning it is not there so some criminal mind can use that info #$%*@!, we may question why ? Don't have a serial number to a piece of software, you can find it on the internet. Have a full featured time limited demo, find a crack and run it to disable the time feature. (I am not telling people to do this, I am just saying what is out there) You can even find detailed plans or sources to get equipment to make your own shart cards for satellite receivers. Even descrambler plans for cable. And again it is all out under the heading that the information is there you you to understand how it is done and how you can do it; armed with all that detailed info you of course are expected to resist the temtation to actually try it out.

The only 100 % file security that exists today is in the human mind, oh course even that I undertand that certain injection of drugs that make it easilier for you to spill the beans.

There is a good portion of knowledgeable hackers, do so under the joy of it, like they said it couldn't be done, but I did it...

However a small percentage of the best hackers do so for information that could be very damaging for the company/government/individuals where that got it from.

Old 02-18-01, 12:37 PM
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one comment on hidden files, you can set your folder options to hide certain types or files or to display all files including hidden. So it is not security as such. It does sometimes for those who simply don't think before they delete, and hidden files are often crutial system files that the system needs to work properly.
Old 02-18-01, 05:52 PM
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If you really want to hide/encrypt your info on ur hard drive use PGP software I use this and it is true 128 bit encryption. Right now it is the best and if "They" aren't yankin my leg, it is un-breakable by common means. In other words you REALLY have to know what you are doing to break this stuff. Do keep an eye out for mirror folders but PGP gives you the option to delete the original folder after making the new encrypted folder.
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