> Whenever my son, who is a limited user, changes his user login picture
> (icon) to the one I am using, it allows him to change all of his
> settings (i.e., he is able to make himself and administrator, remove
> restrictions I have placed on him, etc.). What am I doing wrong?
OK, this doesn't have anything to do with the picture. Your son is logging
into *your* account and changing things. Here is some general computer
security information to help you get in control. If you can't figure this out
by yourself, have a competent local computer tech come on-site and set you
up properly and show you what s/he has done. If you go this route, don't use
someone from a BigComputerStore/GeekSquad type of place.
Any computer running any operating system can be accessed by someone with 1)
physical access; 2) time; 3) skill; 4) tools. There are a few things you can
do to make it a bit harder though:
1. Set a password in the BIOS that must be entered before booting the
operating system. Also set the Supervisor password in the BIOS so BIOS Setup
can't be entered without it.
2. From the BIOS, change the boot order to hard drive first.
3. Set strong passwords on all accounts, including the built-in
Administrator account in XP (it is disabled by default in Vista).
4. If you leave your own account logged in, use the Windows Key + L to lock
the computer (and/or set the screensaver/power saving) when you step away
from the computer and require a password to resume.
5. Make other users Limited accounts in XP Home, regular user accounts in XP
Pro. All users should be on a Standard account in Vista with an
Administrator account only used for elevation purposes.
6. Set user permissions/restrictions:
If you have XP/Vista Home, you don't have the built-in ability to create
fine-grained limitations, so use either MVP Doug Knox's Security Console or
the MS SteadyState program to set the restrictions the way you want.
SteadyState supports Vista now.
More on SteadyState: http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?t=27570
SteadyState support - http://social.microsoft.com/forums/en-
If you have XP Pro, Media Center, Vista Business or Vista Ultimate, you can
use Group Policy to set restrictions (gpedit.msc). Be very careful using
the Group Policy editor; it is completely possible to lock yourself out.
Questions about group policy should be posted here:
Vista has the Parental Controls feature which can be useful on home
computers. There are also third-party programs that can restrict what users
can do locally (installed on the computer) and Internet filtering that can be
Please understand that these are technical responses to what is basically a
non-technical problem and there are ways around all of these precautions.
This is a family/interpersonal issue that can't be solved by technical
Elephant Boy Computers - Don't Panic!