Computer Security Tips –
Administrator and Limited Users
Administrator and Limited Users:
The first time you ever switched on your computer, it probably asked you what user names and passwords you wanted to create. If, like most people, you only created one user account then now’s the time to change ...
- If using Windows XP, and you’re prepared to have a small bit of inconvenience in order to gain a lot of extra security, you should create 2 users (using “Computer Management”) – one Administrator account and one Limited account. Make sure that they have different passwords and that they’re strong passwords (see Password Security), then ...
- Whenever you want to do a normal everyday task, e.g. read email, surf the web, download software, read or write documents, etc., you use the Limited account to do it.
- Whenever you want to install new software, you ...
The inconvenience of running through the above special procedure each time you want to install new software will be greatly outweighed by the huge increase in security you get by performing all you daily tasks as a Limited user.
- If you’re getting the new software from the internet, then download the software using the Limited account.
- Log off the Limited account.
- Log on to the Administrator account, but do not connect to the internet.
- Add Administrator privileges to the Limited account (using “Computer Management”).
- Log off the Administrator account.
- Log on to the Limited account (which now actually has Administrator privileges), but do not connect to the internet.
- Install the new software. If the software asks you to connect to the internet in order to download part of the software then connect. If the software asks you to connect to the internet in order to register the software, then seriously consider waiting until the final step below before doing it.
- Remove Administrator privileges from the Limited account (using “Computer Management”).
- Log off the “Limited” account (since all running processes still have Administrator privileges).
- Log on again to the Limited user and continue with your work.
- If using Windows Vista or Windows 7, and you’re prepared to have a tiny bit of inconvenience in order to gain a lot of extra security, you should create 2 users (using “Computer Management”) – one Administrator account and one Limited (or Standard) account, then also turn on User Account Control (UAC) using the Control Panel. Make sure that the accounts have different passwords and that they’re strong passwords (see Password Security).
- You then use the Limited/Standard user account to do everything, and whenever you want to install new software, you just install it as the Limited/Standard user, and the computer will prompt you to enter the Administrator password whenever a privileged operation needs to be performed, so you just type it in. (You may need to type it in multiple times though, but this small amount of inconvenience will give you a huge increase in overall security.)
- If you’re not installing software but the computer suddenly prompts you to enter the Administrator password to perform a privileged operation, you should seriously think twice before allowing it. It could be a virus or trojan running on your machine. Investigate all such incidents using the “Task Manager” before making a decision.
|Copyright © 2009 Andrew White||Created: 12 Aug 2009|
|Page authored by Andrew White||Updated: 09 Nov 2012|
Administrator, Limited User, Standard User, Computer Security Tips, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, installing software