Ask the Expert

How can I stop someone from changing my administrator password?

My computer has Windows 2000 Pro and is part of a LAN. Recently someone changed my administrator password and used my PC. I had to install the OS again to get control of my PC. Is there any way to stop this from happening again? Is there any security trick to stop this? I have some knowledge that someone might be using software to change my administrator password remotely.
If someone has been able to establish a backdoor to access your computer they can do anything they want. You need to remove the backdoor and secure the computer. Do you have anti-virus? And keep it updated? That, and good management may prevent the installation of a new trojan. Do you have a firewall? Do you keep the system patched? These things will prevent other trojans. Do you follow any security tips? I suggest that you visit Microsoft.com and follow consumer tips for securing your computer. While it is impossible to ever eliminate all risk of attack, it is possible to prevent many of them with a few simple actions.

This was first published in February 2004

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