As you probably know, a hand appears on the icons of folders and drives you share on your network. However, if you don’t want people knowing what you’re sharing (or the hand just bothers you), you can remove the hand from the icons of the resources you share; which requires editing the Windows Registry:
Value: blank = No Icon, "msshrui.dll" for Windows 9x/Me, "ntshrui.dll" for Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista
After editing the registry, you need to restart your PC.
You can still view the resources you are sharing via the Computer Management window. In Windows XP, this is accessible by clicking Start>Control Panel>Performance and Maintenance category>Administrative Tools>Computer Management. Then expand System Tools and Shared Folders, and click on the Shares folder.
Eric Geier is an author of many wireless networking and computing books including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Upgrading to Windows Vista (Que 2007).