Task Manager is a tool commonly used to manage applications and processes running on a computer. There are now four tabs within the Task Manager window instead of two as seen with NT and the three with Windows 2000. The Applications tab serves to display all of the active applications on the system. Services and application-spawned processes will not appear with this tab. The Processes tab, however, will display all processes running on the server – applications, processes, and services.
From within either the Applications or the Processes tab, you have the ability to stop an entry. This doesn’t mean that you can always do so successfully. Many applications will spawn multiple processes which are wither system-protected, or so interrelated that stopping an application or process is impossible to do without compromising system integrity. When this happens, you will either be presented with a message indicating that the app/process cannot be stopped, or a cycle of messages that amount to the same thing.
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Internet Explorer connection properties are used to configure how the Web browser will connect to the Internet.
The Connections tab will available from the Internet Options dialog box will list any Internet connections currently configured on the computer, including dial-up and Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. If a connection to the Internet is through a proxy server, you can use the Settings button to configure the required proxy settings. These settings are summarized in the table below.
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A cookie is a small text file that is stored on your computer’s hard drive by a Web server. The text file stores personalized information about your visit to a Web site. The Web server can then read the text file the next time you return to the Web site and use the information to deliver personalized content. For example, there are several Web sites that deliver the latest news stories, but deliver local news when you access their site. Or those sites that provide you with the local weather forecast for your area.
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Exam 70-270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional (as well as exams 70-271 and 70-272) requires you to know how to configure Internet Explorer options. There are several tabs available from the Internet Options dialog box. The three that you should focus your attention on are the Security, Privacy, and Connections tabs.
For security purposes, Internet Explorer allows you to place Web sites into different zones. Specific actions can then be performed on Web sites based on the zone it has been placed in. The Security tab available from the Internet Options dialog box displays four separate zones.
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User profiles allow a user to keep their personalized settings so they do not have to reconfigure their computer each time they log onto the computer. However, if you want users to have a pre-configured desktop environment, you can assign a mandatory user profile. The procedure for implementing this is described below.
If you want to implement a mandatory profile that is stored on the network, your first step is to create a shared folder that will store the mandatory user profile. Open the Computer Management console on the computer that will hold the profile. Create a shared folder and assign Everyone full control. You can then proceed to the following steps that involve copying the user profile you want to become mandatory to the shared folder.
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User Profiles often pop up as a popular exam topic and they are often used in the workplace. So here are a few things about user profiles that you should understand.
First of all, there are three different types of user profiles that include: local user profiles, roaming user profiles, and mandatory user profiles. The type of profile you implement will depend on many things including network configuration.
User profiles contain objects such as a user’s desktop, icons, start menu items, and other ‘interface-related’ objects. This is the most common definition of the term. Profiles also contain registry information, along with folders containing IE favorites, temp files, My Documents, and others. Local profiles are stored within the \Documents and Settings folder under the username, Profiles contain a lot of information, including portions of the registry, and other system files that are normally hidden from view. Local profiles offer a measure of security in that the data is not open or readily available to or over the network. Unfortunately, should the server or system fail, there is no quick way to recover any users profiles outside of performing a tape restore. Remember that the overall security umbrella includes data availability.
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In the previous installment of this article, you learned how to configure a Password Policy in Windows XP through the Local Security Policy. In this installment, you learn how to configure an Account Lockout Policy.
As with implementing a Password Policy, another way in which you can secure your computer is to enable an Account Lockout Policy. This eliminates the ability for someone to sit down at your computer and continuously attempt to guess your user name and password. The Account Lockout Policy settings in Windows XP include the following:
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The Account Policies in Windows XP consist of two different components. There is a Password Policy and an Account Lockout Policy. Both can be used to increase security on a Windows XP computer.
You can access the Password Policy settings through the Local Security Policy. The settings include:
- Enforce password history
- Maximum password age
- Minimum password age
- Minimum password length
- Password must meet complexity requirements
- Store password using reversible encryption for all users in the domain
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Auditing allows you to track events that occur on the network. When it comes to exam 70-270, you will be expected to know how to use auditing to secure a computer. In this installment of Configuring Auditing, you will learn how to use auditing to track the user of user rights.
Security reports show that many of the attacks that occur against networks are performed by trusted users, meaning users on the inside, not the outside. Now there are many things you can to do protect your network and monitoring use of user rights is just one of those things. Once you have assigned a user or group account additional user rights, you will probably want to track how they are using them. You can do this by enabling the Audit privilege use policy setting. You can enable this feature in Windows XP using the steps outlined below:
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Auditing is a general tool that has been around since the days of Windows NT. Auditing is very similar to Performance Monitor, in that it waits for a specific event to occur, and then reports on it within the Event Viewer. Instead of waiting for system performance events, auditing usually tracks the success or failure of system and security events. Traditionally, auditing was most frequently performed for user logon/logoff (to track tardy employees) and sensitive file access (to see who and how often file access occurred).
Auditing with Windows XP is configured in several different ways, all depending upon what needs to be audited, and where that object resides. Generally, the first step is to enable the specific type of auditing through the audit policy, which will usually begin the audit process at that point. Auditing is generally turned on through a security policy, which is another part of Group Policy. These security policies are generally accessed through Administrative Tools. The audit policy events include:
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A very important point to remember when taking exam 70-270 is that Microsoft recommends you only install drivers that have been tested for compatibility with Windows XP. Drivers that have met the Designed for Microsoft Windows XP logo requirements are digitally signed and safe to install on your computer.
Windows XP includes three different options for driver signing. The option you select will tell Windows what to do when it detects an unsigned driver (this is a driver that has not been tested with Windows). You can configure the driver signing options from the System Properties dialog box. The different options include:
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The main tool in Windows XP used for managing drivers is Device Manager. The Device Manager provides a graphical view of the hardware that is currently installed on the computer. The device drivers and resources associated with that hardware are listed in the properties of each device. If you have never opened the utility, you can so do by right clicking on My Computer, selecting Properties, and clicking the Device Manager button from the Hardware tab.
If you have taken a peek in the Device Manager before, you may have noticed some kind of icon or mark beside one of your hardware components. Such a symbol would usually indicate that a device is not functioning correctly. However, the type of symbol will give you more of an indication as to what the problem might be. So here is a quick overview of the meaning behind these symbols.
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Automatic Updates is a great feature of Microsoft operating systems that allows you to easily keep your system up to date and secure. In the previous installment of this article, I showed you how to configure Automatic Updates through the System Properties dialog box. In this article, I’ll show you alternate method.
Automatic Updates can be configured through the Local Group Policy. More experienced users may want to use this method instead using the System Properties dialog box. You can configure Automatic Updates settings through the Local Group Policy using the steps outlined below:
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One of the very many topics you need to thoroughly understand for Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional, is Automatic Updates. You need to understand the different between the various update options and you need to know how to configure them.
With Automatic Updates, administrators and users have more control over how updates are downloaded and installed. It allows you to configure how and when Windows should be updated with the latest product updates. For example, updates can be downloaded automatically and installed at a pre-configured schedule. The options available with Automatic Updates include:
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