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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Should I be an administrator or not

    Hello:

    This is probably an issue that has been discussed ad nauseum. But it is not easy for anyone to answer, even if one is reasonably sophisticated (but not an expert). Now, not to reinvent the wheel, I would like to ask for a reference or two to places where one can read about the pros and cons of being an administrator (and to avoid going nuts over constant security reminders). Personally, I am the only user of my computer, should that matter, and I update apps constantly.

    Best regards,

    Hans L

  2. #2
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    I've never worried too much about being an admin user or std user on my systems as I am very careful about where I go on the internet and what programs get installed. Running as a std user is somewhat more secure. See Managing User Accounts at Microsoft's MSDN site. Even though they talk about Vista the points are still valid. Two more references - Inside Windows 7 User Account Control and Be Safer – Run as Standard User.

    Joe

  3. #3
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    Joe, thank you for the references. I will read them!!!

    Hans L

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Hans:

    I always set up two accounts on my computer: a standard one, and an administrator one. I do my daily work in the standard account. If a program wants to install itself, it will pop up a log in box, giving me the chance to see what is going on, and to say yes or no to the install. If I want to install the program, I enter my administrator login info, and the install proceeds.

    There are rare occasions when the account I will use the program in needs to be the one I am logged in on for the install. If that ever happens, I add administrative rights to my standard account, log in on it, do the install, then take away the administrative rights from that account.

    The reason I do my daily work in a standard (non-admin) account is to limit the amount of damage that can be done by a rogue program.

    Jim

  5. #5
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    Jim, I appreciate your input.

    Regards,

    Hans L

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    The security best practice is not to run as Administrator. This by the way is true of all operating systems and not just Windows.

    The theory on this is that if you constantly run as Admin, you run the risk of doing things to your computer you don't intend. Lots of people focus on malware on this subject and it's true that malware is a problem.

    However have you ever had a brain-fart moment and did something wrong? Or how about this: You are busily working away and suddenly a dialogue unrelated to your work pops up. If you were clicking on something else and you have "mouse snap to default button" on, you just clicked OK to that dialogue. And I'll bet you never got the chance to even read it! Good luck finding out what you just accepted too.

    By not running as Admin, you de-fang a lot of these types of situations.

    The thing to know is that there is a tradeoff. You have to accept a certain nuisance factor in elevating your privileges to make system changes.

    Again though, this is routine in other operating systems. Users of Unix and Linux are very familiar with the "su" and "sudo" commands that are most commonly used to achieve this.

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  8. #7
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    It is indeed true that running as a standard user is the recommended security best practice.

    The fact is, I have never done it and neither have I configured the other computers around here to work like that. That means both my wife's laptop and my teenager son's laptop. They do run my choice of security apps, which currently include Online Armor (HIPS) and a chosen AV, which has varied with time - currently Emsisoft's Anti-Malware. All of them have been malware free (9 years in the case of wife's laptop, probably 4 years in the case of my son's laptop). In my case, that basically means forever (and I started with a 8088 with 640K RAM running a DOS version, back in the 80s).

    I can only offer my examples as anecdotal evidence. If you run decent security software, have safe usage habits (including not blindly replying to whatever prompts you get), the likelihood of getting infected is smaller. In any case, it will always be smaller if you run as a non admin user.
    Rui
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  9. #8
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    It has certainly happened that I have clicked with blinders on, but nothing bad has happened so far.

    Hans L

  10. #9
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    ruirib, I have also always run as an administrator, and not had any real problems. NIS is my securoty software, but I start to feel it is not having so many features I do not want that it is time to switch.

    Regards,

    Hans L

  11. #10
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    When using Win 7, I used this approach and had no difficulties. However, having recently upgraded to Win 10, I am experiencing many annoyances working as a Standard user rather than an Admin user. I've given up and gone back to having only one account, an Admin account. I'm not convinced that Win 10 has ironed out all the problems yet.

  12. #11
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    A lot of crap with Win 10. And usnig only an Admin account, which I have just decided to do, does not mean that you do not have to click "Run as administrator" very often to actually run as an administrator. Wind 10 is not good.

    Hans L

  13. #12
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    I have 3 Users on my computers, 1 is the hidden actual Administrator, 1 is what I always use with my Login name and set with Administrative Rights and the 3rd is the Standard User which I let others use, similar to the Guest account in what that can or can't do. In dire situations I can active the actual Administrator but usually it's only for the rare program that can't install otherwise [not seeing many of those lately].

  14. #13
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    I always run routinely as a standard user. Some utilities/programs need Administrator privileges, and I right-click, select Run as Administrator, and put in the Admin password. A couple of utilities won't run unless I'm logged on as a member of the Administrators group, and that's the only time I log on as a member of the Administrators group.

    I use Windows Defender and Malwarebytes Pro. I'm not the least bit aggravated at UAC popping up from time to time, and it's not a hassle for me to right-click and select Run as Administrator.

    We all have our reasons for doing the things that we do. We each have our own comfort level, which is as it should be. But no matter how you choose to operate, make a regularly-practiced backup regimen part of your normal operating procedures. I think most of us can agree on that.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  15. #14
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    I hear you, Hans L.

    Now that I've deleted my user account from Win 10, I have discovered 2 programs that are not available to my admin account. I installed them via the user account, and would have had to enter my admin password. If the option to install for every user was offered, I would have selected it, so why are they not available to the admin account? Go figure!

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans L View Post
    A lot of crap with Win 10. And usnig only an Admin account, which I have just decided to do, does not mean that you do not have to click "Run as administrator" very often to actually run as an administrator. Wind 10 is not good.

    Hans L
    I don't use W10, haven't decided whether I will do it or not, but that Run As need is a protection, which I don't mind to see in place. It happens with Windows 8.x, as well.
    Rui
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    R4

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