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Using Computer as Administrator?


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#1 guit30

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:02 AM

  I just read this on another forum, that it is very unsafe to operate a windows computer as Administrator all of the time. It said you should set up another account and use the computer as that person. Is this true?

Jim


Edited by hamluis, 18 August 2015 - 07:13 PM.
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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:16 AM

In a word... yes.

 

Primarily because any malware you come across will automatically have administrator rights to install itself if it runs as the logged in user. This will include malicious adverts and nasty email attachments.

 

To add to this it could be considered wise to add restricted execution policies or use a program like Cryptoprevent to stop specially crafted malware running as admin despite your active standard user profile.


Edited by TsVk!, 18 August 2015 - 02:30 AM.


#3 hamluis

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:36 PM

System security...begins and ends with the user.  The user is the chief enemy for anyone contemplating a "best security posture" on any system.

 

I run all my systems (sole user) with me as Admin...I have never been infected by any malware due to the fact that I am running from an Admin account status.  Today's malware seem to count on the lack of knowledge by the user...more than anything else in determining how to undo working systems, IMO :).

 

Theoretically, what was stated above is the correct answer for most users, as part of a plan for system security.  But I daresay that if you do a search using your favorite search engine...you won't find many threads/topics where the key door to malware came from a user running as Admin.

 

FWIW:  http://ask-leo.com/is_it_safe_to_run_as_administrator_now_that_windows_7_has_uac.html

 

Louis



#4 ship_kicker

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:15 PM

System security...begins and ends with the user.  The user is the chief enemy for anyone contemplating a "best security posture" on any system.

 

I run all my systems (sole user) with me as Admin...I have never been infected by any malware due to the fact that I am running from an Admin account status.  Today's malware seem to count on the lack of knowledge by the user...more than anything else in determining how to undo working systems, IMO :).

 

Theoretically, what was stated above is the correct answer for most users, as part of a plan for system security.  But I daresay that if you do a search using your favorite search engine...you won't find many threads/topics where the key door to malware came from a user running as Admin.

 

FWIW:  http://ask-leo.com/is_it_safe_to_run_as_administrator_now_that_windows_7_has_uac.html

 

Louis

Agree 100%.  I run all my windows machines as admin, I haven't a virus since I was a kid running windows XP and I tried downloading mods for old games.  That didn't work out too well.



#5 TsVk!

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 04:25 PM

I've see plenty of users get hit with malware on my network and invariably it is the users who have admin rights.

 

It is very common to see people say "I knew it was wrong/bad/malware the second I clicked it" here on BC too. There's no second chances for admins, and even though people don't attribute one of the causal factors of being infected that they were running as admin (so you won't be able to search that) it doesn't mean it's not real.

 

Think about what the word Administrator actually means, and then think about what the word User actually means. Using the right tool for the right job has been known to have positive ramifications.



#6 hamluis

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:12 PM

Understood...from the perspective of a network, that strategy makes sense, IMO.

 

But...from the perspective of an individual user...I'd say that it has creedence but, again, the user is the biggest hurdle to a protected systems...and that goes far beyond whether he/she logs on as Admin or not.  I'm not knowledgeable enough to say...but I bet that the folks in General Security will assert that logging on as Admin...is only a tiny bit of consideration that should be made...by any user interested in system security, safe computing, etc.

 

The fact that many users just do not take system security seriously...and are constantly looking for quick answers, tips, etc. that don't point the finger at them...would lead me not to overemphasize the importance or lack thereof...when it comes to logging on as Admin.  Just my opinion.

 

If the OP wants a real answer to system security do's and don'ts...he needs to visit the General Security forum here at BC.  I'll move this topic there :).

 

Louis



#7 guit30

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:24 PM

Louis,

    I appreciate your help as always, what can I say, but thanks, I am the only user on my machine, I made another account, but I did not have all of my shortcuts and icons on desktop. Let me see if anyone else has anything to say.

   Thanks,

Jim

   PS- Thanks for FWIW article link, makes a lot of sense.


Edited by guit30, 18 August 2015 - 07:31 PM.

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#8 quietman7

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 08:40 PM

Using the least possible privilege (limited user account) to perform a task limits the damage that a mistake or malicious software can inflict on a computer. This concept has been around for years and is one reason Microsoft introduced the User Account Control (UAC) (which is enabled by default) starting with Windows Vista. However, a limited user account may reduce your ability to perform effective security scans as removing some malware requires admin rights and other user accounts may not be scanned.


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