This is my first tutorial so I'm pretty excited. I figured it's time I put a little back into the community. I've done a lot of configuration with XP(pro) and I think I have a few tips I could give when trying to secure a windows XP box.

** You must be the Admin. Also get a good FIREWALL or two. I'm not going to reccomend any, because that could lead to an entirely different discussion.

The setup I'm about to show you works well for me. The first step would be to create a system restore point so you can roll-back if you don't like the desired effects.
Start->Programs->Accessories->SystemTools->SystemRestore and create a restore point

Next disable the M$ "firewall". Go into the control panel and double click network connections then right click on local area connection and select properties. The click on the advanced tab and remove the check mark in the box. We do this because we can't disable the right services if this is enabled.

Now we'll check the security settings. In the control panel double click on Admin Tools, then select local security policy. Expand account policies and select password policy. Make sure that enforce password history is set to remember 0 passwords. Now enable store password using reverse encryption is enabled. This will allow for multi-user security. At the bottom in the left frame select IP security policies. This is where your security settings are stored for IE. Make sure they are set to at least request security. Under local policies there are MANY different settings that you can use to personalize your system. This is an extremely powerful tool as you can set user rights and security settings for the OS. Go through each key and define what you would like(too many settings to list here). If you hadn't guessed, it's pretty much a registry editor.

In the admin tools double click on component services. This is where all the settings for your network connections are defined. Click on the standard tab at the bottom. In the list make sure that the following services are disabled (you can change the status by double clicking on the service):
automatic updates
netmeeting remote desktop sharing
remote access auto connection
remote access connection manager
remote desktop help session manager
remote registry
routing and remote access
TCP/IP Netbios helper
Universal plug and play device host
There are many other things that you could configure here. Changing more of these may cause problems when trying to use internet based applications.

That covers the best ways to secure XP. There are other things you can do as well such as WINDOWS UPDATES REGULARILY, virus scanner updates, firewall updates and changing password. I hope everyone enjoys this post; I'm open to criticism.