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Heedless Guest Users

Inside job

It's easier to hack your computer directly from the keyboard than over the Internet. We've all observed the suspension of good sense that begins inthe single or early double-digit ages, and sometimes never ends. A guest with this affliction can attract a whole nest of computer pests in a hurry. Often this kind of guest is very fluent with computers, likes their computers set up a certain way, and just can't resist doing a makeover of the host's computer. In a few hours things are deleted, others are rearranged, and the host's desktop is filled with exotic new goodies.

Some of these downloaded dainties probably brought malware in with them. If they didn't, visits to risky Web sites, file sharing, instant messages or other risky behavior no doubt did. Even if there's no malware, the makeover will be hard to recover from.

You can set up restricted guest accounts on Windows XP, and that will block most of these changes, and you can do things like restrict access to folders. You may not be successful in blocking the malware though. Up to date backups, including a fresh drive image are the only recovery plan I'd trust in this situation.

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