Windows XP user accounts can be assigned a password. This means that for a user to log on using an account, she must know the password. A user with an administrative account can assign passwords to other user accounts. Each user (whether she has administrative or limited privileges) can also create and change her account password as needed.
Select a User Account
In the User Accounts window (select User Accounts in the Control Panel to open this window), select the user account for which you want to create a password (your own account or any account if you are a computer administrator).
Select Create a Password
Select the Create a password task to create a password for the selected user. The Create a password window opens. If you are changing an existing password (a password that you set previously), the link appears as Change the password instead of Create a password.
It is suggested that you create "strong" passwords if you are serious about using passwords as a protection strategy for your computer (and the various user accounts). Strong passwords use a combination of alphabetic and numeric characters, use both uppercase and lowercase characters, and also use special characters such as @, #, and so on. A password can be up to 127 characters in length; however, Microsoft suggests that the strongest passwords are 7 or 14 characters long. If you are using user accounts merely as a convenience so that different family members can share a computer, you don't need to overdo the passwords. If a user can't remember a password because it is too complex, it really doesn't do anyone any good. If a user does forget his account password, a user with an administrative account can change the password without knowing the original password. The user can then log on using the new password specified by the administrator.
Enter a Password
In the first text box, type a password for the account. Then retype the password as required in the second text box. You can also enter an optional hint for the password. The hint is shown on the Windows Welcome screen and is designed to help you remember your password.
If you use a password hint, remember that all the users of the computer can see the hint at the Welcome screen. The hint should not be a total giveaway in terms of allowing other users to guess your password.
Create the Password
After you have entered and then re-entered the password (and the optional hint), click the Create Password button. The account is now password protected. The password must be provided when you (or the account owner, if you are setting the password for another user) log on to the system.