Probably the most frustrating omission in Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition is that there’s no way to add a password to a shared folder, which means you can’t restrict individual access to the folder. Anyone with a valid user name and password can access every share on the PC. We can’t fix that problem, but we have found a simple workaround that lets you prevent outsiders from accessing your shared folders.
Here’s the idea: If you don’t have a valid user name and password, you can access a shared folder only as a Guest. Password-protect the Guest account and you thwart unwanted access. Here’s how—in six easy steps:
# Log on as Administrator.
# Go to Settings | Control Panel | User Accounts, and click on Guest Account to make sure it is turned on.
# Go to Start | Run, type cmd, and hit Enter.
# At the prompt, type Net user guest password and hit Enter.
# Go back to User Accounts and click on the Guest account.
# Note that you can now add a password (see the screen). Do so and reboot.
From now on, any attempt to log on to shared folders from the Guest account will require the Guest password for access—even if the Guest account is turned off!