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Sharing the C Drive - how risky?

Posted on 2007-04-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-24
I have a new system with Vista, an older one with XP Pro.  The XP Pro has a wireless adapter now.  My laptop, the same.   They are connected to the router with WEP.  Yesterday I turned on the router's firewall.  I am also running Window's firewall on all computers.

Yesterday I turned on File and Printer Sharing - and I figured out how to put files in the Shared Folders, but also I directly shared another folder by giving it permission (to be seen and changed).  I want access to my older computer for the many many files it has.

I see that windows is warning me against sharing the C: drive if I right-click it.  Seeing as I have Wep enabled as well as these firewalls, is it so dangerous to share this?  It would make things so much easier if I could, yet I guess I may be too polyana and I would like to know the risks here of sharing the C drive as opposed to individual folders.
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Question by:linque
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r-k earned 250 total points
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I would replace WEP with WPA because the former is not very secure, WPA is very adequate.

As to whether to share the C: drive, it depends on what you are protecting. I share mine all the time. If you're reasonably careful and keep your firewall enabled (and use WPA instead of WEP) there is not much risk. And you should have good backup at all times anyway. And use a hard to crack password.

Of course none of this holds if you have sensitive data like banking or fbi files or comparable on your system.
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by:zephyr_hex
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first, you dont need more than 1 firewall.  if you have a router with a firewall built-in, disable windows firewall.  as long as your router's firewall is properly configured, it is sufficient.  running more than 1 firewall can interfere with some programs.

second...
if someone is able to crack your network, then it doesn't matter whether or not you have C shared.  it is very unlikely that someone would be able to crack it... but if someone with that kind of skill happened to target your network and gain access to it... they are going to be able to gain access to the computers on your network, too (regardless of shares).  that said... it's a really really unlikely scenario that someone would 1) have interest in cracking your home network and 2) actually have the tools & skill to do it.

the warning is to protect you against other *users* on your network... it's not a warning for the scenario of someone cracking your network.

if this is a home network, then you are fine (assuming you dont have other users on your home network who should not have access to the drive).
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by:linque
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both of you offered terrific advice and peace of mind to me.  No  I'm not a bank and don't do online banking - and I agree - if someone is that intent on my stuff they are coming to get it anyway.  I will heed your warnings and suggestions.  But thanks for the practical advice.
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