The default access setting for Windows event logs allows guest and anonymous users to view them. This can make sensitive data openly accessible to users who should not be able to view it. A simple tweak of the registry, however, can rectify the possible security opening. You can block guest and anonymous users from viewing event logs by performing the following steps:

  1. Within the Registry Editor, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SYSTEM CurrentControlSet Services EventLog.
  2. Select the Application folder under EventLog.
  3. On the menu bar, choose Edit | New | DWORD Value.
  4. Type RestrictGuestAccess and press [Enter].
  5. Double-click the new RestrictGuestAccess entry.
  6. In the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, type 1.
  7. Repeat the previous steps to create the same DWORD entry in the Security and System sub-key folders.

This will prevent unauthorized users from having access to sensitive information stored in event logs, information that might be used to gain access to other locations or files that should be secure.

Take control of cookies

In Vista, cookies are stored in the c: Users [username] AppData Roaming Microsoft Windows Cookies folder, where [username] is the login name of the user. If you have ever opened the Cookies folder from within Windows Explorer, you know that this folder contains thousands of files.

While some cookies are useful, others could be considered a violation of your privacy. Fortunately, Vista comes with a privacy feature that allows you to control the amount and type of cookies that are saved on your computer. Here’s how to use the privacy feature:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click Internet Options from the Tools menu, and select the Privacy tab.
  3. Use the slider to select a privacy setting. The default privacy setting is Medium.

    At the top and bottom of the scale are Block All Cookies and Accept All Cookies, respectively. As you move the slider, you will see an explanation of the level of privacy that the settings provide.