What is Microsoft File and Print Sharing?
File and printer sharing is the part of Microsoft networking that enables you to share files and local printers with other users on small networks.
Why remove Microsoft File and Print Sharing?
If this service is enabled on your Windows computer and you are connected to a Local Area Network (LAN) you are allowing others to connect to your computer and access your files and printer. While you can setup passwords to protect your files and printers when using this service, you should know that passwords can provide a false sense of security. It is possible for someone to guess your password, or run a program to try all possible passwords. If a user on the network gains access to your computer, they may have access to all of your personal information stored on your hard drive. Also, with remote access a malicious individual can use your computer to spread viruses or even become a launching pad for attacks on other computers or networks. A much better security practice is to remove File and Print Sharing.
Due to the above issues, it is the policy at UW-Platteville that File and Print Sharing be REMOVED on all Windows computers.
How to Remove Microsoft File and Print Sharing
- Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.
- Double-click Network.
- Click the configuration tab.
- If it exists, remove the File and Printer sharing for Microsoft Networks.
- Click OK to exit the network window.
Online resorurces discussing security issues with Microsoft File and Printer sharing:
- Go to Start -> Settings -> Network and Dial-Up connections.
- Double click the icon for Local Area Connection.
- Click Properties.
- If it exists, select File and Print Sharing for Microsoft Networks and click on Uninstall.
- Click OK to exit.