User accounts allow Microsoft Windows to differentiate between computer users in order to determine the rights they should have. Each user account is assigned its own location on the hard disk for file storage. There is a collection of settings pertaining to each account that is stored in the computer’s Registry.
Methods for Limiting a Windows XP User Account’s Internet Use
Windows SteadyState is a free, discontinued Microsoft product that can still be downloaded from many online sources. It allows users to make changes to how their computer behaves as well as how it interacts with other computers on a network. For example, Windows SteadyState allows users to limit a specific user account to only function at certain intervals, allowing users to prevent their children and other individuals from accessing the computer at inappropriate times. SteadyState also allows the user to dictate rules concerning Internet use. These rules govern sites that can be visited, sites that cannot be visited, and whether the Internet can be accessed at all on a specific user account.
Limit All Accounts Except Administrator
Sometimes an administrator may wish to limit all other accounts except for his/her own user account. This can be done by setting all other user accounts to Guest Account and then using third party software to restrict the sites and programs that Guest accounts have access to. For example, both FreshUI and TweakUI limit access to the Internet and other software on all Guest accounts.
Windows XP User Restrictions, found in the Microsoft Shared Computer Toolkit, allows users to restrict an individual user account by placing limitations on how software is run and which programs can and cannot be run. User Restrictions allow the user to modify the Start Menu, operating system, Microsoft Office, and Internet Explorer. While User Restrictions cannot control other browsers besides Internet Explorer, it can block other browsers from being run altogether and control the web pages that Internet Explorer is allowed to access.