WHat does windows event log track?

I'd like to track system activity for help desk support.  I would be interested to see if a user is downloading files from the internet, installing/uninstalling programs or turning off/adjusting security settings.  Does Windows event log track this data?  If so, how long is it kept, does it track by user id if there are more than 1 users per machine and what versions of Windows OS have it?

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Windows & Active Directory Auditing

You can read about what you can audit here.....

Some of the things you mentioned though, arent possible with simple auditing, you would need some sort of web content software, or a proxy, to track what people do online.....

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Your question deserves longer explanation.
For some of the things you need to track you will need 3rd party applications, like proxy server (to control web traffic).
Most of the things can be audited on either domain or local computer level. Most of the auditing settings you will find when you type Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc
Expand Computer configuration / Windows settings / Security settings / Local policies / Audit policy.
Be careful what you enable/disable....you don't need to know literally everything. It depends on what kind of computer it is...domain controller should have definnetly more detailed auditing than some unimportant workstation.
Also be careful about managing the log files. If you audit TOO MUCH, your events might be unwantedly rewriten.
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