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Can users on my LAN view my computer from other machines?

Learn how users on your LAN can view your machines from other computers in this response from network security expert Puneet Mehta.

If we are using a LAN, is it possible for other people to view my computer while they are on the other compute...


Yes, it is possible for other people on the network to view your computer. In a windows based network, as soon as your workstation is live, its presence becomes visible to others connected on the same network through Network Neighborhood. Others can connect to your workstation through automatic hidden shares (C$, D$, E$ and so on) using Windows networking and through shares that you have created where others have access to or where access to "everyone" is allowed. You can restrict this by turning off all the shares and connections to your workstation. In order to hide your computer from the browser list, enable the Hide Computer from the Browser List setting through Windows networking.

It is always a good practice to run a personal firewall along with the antivirus software on every workstation in a networked environment. A firewall is like a shield that protects data communications between your computer and the rest of the machines your computer is connected to (either via the LAN or Internet). It safeguards data entering and leaving your computer to make sure only the good ones are allowed and effectively dropping others. This helps implement a granular level of security by restricting access through security policy.

For more information:
See SearchNetworking.com's guide to firewalls.
View this tip on hiding network shares from SearchWindowsComputing.com.

This was last published in December 2007

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