Vista lets you place restrictions on hardware devices to protect against data theft. You can place restrictions on device installation, limit access to devices already installed and control Autoplay settings for removable devices.

Data theft can occur through the installation of hardware such as removable storage devices. For example, an attacker can install a removable device on your computer with the intent of copying your data to it.

Vista protects against this type of data theft through device installation restrictions. You can control the installation of devices through the local computer policy (or a group policy). You can find these settings in the following container:

Computer Configuration \ Administrative Templates \ System \ Device Installation \ Device Installation Restrictions.
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When, in August 2006, a vendor for AOL released search records on 657,000 AOL users, it was easy to look at the queries associated with specific users and determine what kinds of people they were and ultimately who they were. Your online activities could do end up in a database somewhere. Read the privacy policy of your favorite search engine, and you’ll see what methods it employs to collect valuable data about its users. Then consider how many times you’ve read about security breaches that result in data leaks.

There is a way to remain somewhat anonymous on the most popular of all search engines, Google. Remember that if you have a username log-in with any of the Internet search engines -say, a Microsoft Passport or a webmail account -their systems can build a profile of you. If you’re truly paranoid you may want to delete or cancel any free e-mail accounts that are associated with Web search engines and scrub their cookies from your hard drive. If you use any of the services from Google, such as Wallet, Groups, Gmail, or AdSense, or even if you get paid by Google AdWords on your own Web site, then you have an account that points back to your identity. This means that everything you do within the search can now point back to you as a unique user. See how it’s done… More »