Enforcing Valid Logins

Anyone can logon to Windows 95/98/ME as a new user simply by typing a new user name at the logon prompt. Alternatively they can just press the Cancel button at the logon prompt and start using the computer as the default user without logging in at all. So much for security on these computers.

There is a way that you can convert the Cancel button from cancelling the login prompt to cancelling the Windows session. Only those user logins predefined on your system will then be able to be used to login.

Security isn't perfect in this instance as anyone will still be able to boot the computer in Safe Mode and undo the change that blocks unauthorised logins - provided that is that they know how to do it. Also giving the appropriate answer to any dialog boxes that appear may enable someone to bypass this process.

Before we start, we need to make sure that we have logins defined that will be able to access the computer after we make the change. You can create additional logins before you make this change by going into the Control Panel and selecting Users. Use the New User button to create your new user. For each user that exists go into Change Settings and make sure that the Start Menu item is selected as otherwise the default user version will be used and we are about to change that to get the computer to automatically shutdown when an unauthorised login attempt is made.

All that we need to do to implement this change is to download, unpack, and execute this registry command that will implement the required changes to the registry for us.

Anyone can still create new users after we implement this but new users based on the default user will automatically shutdown the computer part way through the startup process before gaining access to the computer. To make new users after making the change that will have access to actually use the computer, don't select New User, instead select an existing user and then Make a Copy so as to copy the configuration for an existing user that has access instead of copying the default user setup.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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