Computer Security Basics

I am using just an Admin account on all my PC’s, is this bad? Well, it leaves your account open to all kinds of dangers. If you’re always logged in as an administrator, anyone who gets into your account can make all sorts of changes without your permission. A virus can install itself with no roadblocks, or a hacker who gets in remotely can change your Internet settings to send you to malicious websites. If you let a friend or family member use your computer, they can change anything they want – either intentionally or accidentally.

There are three different types of accounts to a computer: standard, administrator, and guest. You might wonder what’s the difference between them or what function is limited to each type. Let’s take a look at them one by one:

Administrator account

As an administrator, you’re allowed to customize Windows freely; you can make any change to the computer: install or uninstall software and hardware you like, access to all files on the computer, and can also delete, or change other user accounts. It seems like administrator user is the host of the computer, while others are guests. However, it’s more secure to operate the computer using a standard user account than administrator account. Why?

Standard account

Using a standard account is more secure than using administrator account. Standard users can only customize their own user account, which means they can’t act on their own to make changes to the computer system, or security of the computer. If you use a standard account, any big change to your system causes a password form pop-up. To make the change, you have to enter the administrator password. It’s a nice compromise between convenience and security.
To create a new account, go to Start>>Control Panel>>User Accounts>>Manage another account. Choose Create a new account to get started. Make sure to select “standard” when asked about the account type to create. Of course, if you have more than one person using the computer, you can create multiple standard accounts. Don’t forget, each standard account can also have a unique password to improve security.

Guest account

A guest account user can only use the computer temporarily, and can perform almost no customization. As a guest account user, you can’t make any changes to the computer or access any personal files on the computer. Unlike standard user account, no permissions can be given to guest user account to change any settings on the computer. This is best when a friend wants to check their email, but you don’t want them in any of your files.

I strongly recommend every computer have at least two accounts: an administrator account that you leave alone and a standard account that you use for all your regular computing. This is also very hard to do after you have been using the admin account for so long. But, if you need security over convenience, this is the best choice. Thanks for reading, and keep your PC secure and your family safer. Remember at “Hunt Technology”, you always get “Quality Service & Individual Attention” you deserve.

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