Lesson 2: Planning New User Accounts

Lesson 2:?Planning New User Accounts

You can streamline the process of creating user accounts by planning and organizing user account information such as:

  • Naming conventions
  • Password requirements

After this lesson, you will be able to

  • Establish an effective naming convention for your organization
  • Describe the password guidelines for protecting access to computers running Windows XP Professional

Estimated lesson time: 10 minutes

Naming Conventions

A naming convention is an organization's established standard for identifying users in the domain. Following a consistent naming convention helps administrators and users remember logon names. It also makes it easier for administrators to locate specific user accounts to add them to groups or perform account administration. Table 3.1 summarizes some guidelines for determining an effective naming convention for your organization.

Table 3.1??Naming Convention Guidelines

Password Requirements

To protect access to the computer, every user account should have a password. Consider the following guidelines for passwords:

  • Always assign a password to the Administrator account to prevent unauthorized access to the account.
  • Determine whether the Administrator or the users will control passwords. You can assign unique passwords to user accounts and prevent users from changing them, or you can allow users to enter their own passwords the first time they log on. In most cases, users should control their passwords.
  • Use passwords that are hard to guess. For example, avoid using passwords with an obvious association, such as a family member's name.
  • Passwords can contain up to 128 characters; a minimum length of 8 characters is recommended.
  • Include both uppercase and lowercase letters (unlike user names, user passwords are case sensitive), numerals, and the valid non-alphanumeric characters. (See Table 3.1 for a list of characters that are not valid.)

Lesson Review

The following questions will help you determine whether you have learned enough to move on to the next lesson. If you have difficulty answering these questions, review the material in this lesson before beginning the next lesson. The answers are in Appendix A, "Questions and Answers."

  1. The maximum number of characters that Windows XP Professional recognizes in a local user account name is __________.
  2. When are duplicate local user accounts valid in a network of computers running Windows XP Professional?
  3. Passwords can be up to ______ characters long with a minimum length of ______ characters recommended.
  4. Which of the following sets of characters are valid to use in a local user account name on a computer running Windows XP Professional? (Choose all that apply.)
    1. 0 ( ) 9
    2. - + = >
    3. A through Z; a through z
    4. [ ] _ |
  5. When users create their own passwords, which of the following guidelines should they observe? (Choose all that apply.)
    1. Use the maximum number of characters allowed in a password.
    2. Use a password that is hard for others to guess.
    3. Use at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, one numeral, and one valid nonalphanumeric character.
    4. Use the name of your spouse, child, cat, or dog so that you can easily remember it.

Lesson Summary

  • Local user account names must be unique on the computer on which you create the account, and domain user accounts must be unique to the directory.
  • User logon names can contain up to 20 uppercase or lowercase characters. The User Name text box in the Log On To Windows dialog box accepts more than 20 characters, but Windows XP Professional recognizes only the first 20.
  • The following characters are not valid: " / \ [ ] : ; | = , + * ? < >
  • User logon names are not case sensitive, but Windows XP Professional preserves the case for display purposes.
  • Passwords can be up to 128 characters long; a minimum of 8 characters is recommended.
  • Use uppercase and lowercase letters, numerals, and valid nonalphanumeric characters in creating passwords.