Someone can do a bit of damage to Internet Explorer's settings if given five minutes and a curiosity to "see what this setting does." In a shared access situation, you may not want people to mess with Internet Explorer's settings at all.
In Windows 98 you can disable certain tabs of the Internet options dialog (Tools > Internet Options), or disable the dialog entirely. It involves a little regedit.
Open the registry editor (go to Start > Run, type "regedit", and hit return.) Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Control Panel. To make a specific tab disappear, locate the appropriate entry, such as ProgramsTab, ContentTab, SecurityTab, or AdvancedTab, and set the corresponding value to 1. If you want the tab back, set the value back to 0. If you're missing an entry, add it as a DWORD value and set it equal to 1. If you set every tab to 1, you won't be able to access Internet options until you change one or all values back to 0. These changes take place immediately but can also be immediately reversed. Keep a copy of this article in your records or bookmarks so you know where to find it if and when you want your tabs back.
This registry edit is a good tool for maintaining your settings in a public environment. Just make sure you know how to get your tabs back.