The fundamental principle in security, mainly when it comes to people, is the “Least privilege”. The two principles (Need to Know and Need to Use) we’ve already talked about derive from it.
When you are on your computer, you have the right to do everything you want. There is the core of the problem because, once you’re connected, intruders can enter. And when they’re in, they can do as much as you.
When you first let you recognize on your computer, you saw it was possible to create several accounts. For each, you could select two modes. You have the choice between the ‘Administrator (admin)’ – or ‘owner’ – mode and the ‘User’ – or ‘guest’ – mode.
What’s the difference?
The Admin mode possesses all the rights. It means, basically, that you can modify the system as and when you want. You can add or remove software and applications, peripherals (printers and external disks). You also can determine what is allowed or not in the operating parameters of the computer (e.g. parental control).
The User mode has only reduced rights: use the computer. He can’t modify anything neither the system, nor its operation. It’s in this mode that you work ‘at work’ as soon as there is an IT specialist.
Some systems can show an intermediate mode where some actions – such as installation/removal of software or changing operating parameters – ask your approval and the introduction of your password.
How to toggle from the one to the other?
I confess here my low technical knowledge as this one evolves constantly. I just know it’s not difficult, but is strongly varies (not only the name of the modes) from one operating system (Windows, OS.X, Androïd) to the other, and from one version to the next one – e.g. between Windows Vista and Windows 7. What with Windows 10 that just came out?
I propose you to ask the question to your local computer shop – or your IT specialist at work. He’ll tell you or do it for you.
Why not remaining in Admin mode?
The intruders who enter your computer without you notice it (and can secretly activate your webcam or microphone – even when your computer is switched-off) have the same rights as you have. The same for all software and applications running that you have installed… and the malware that entered on the sly.
When you surf on the Internet, some can divert part of your computer capacity for things you’d prefer to ignore but would put you in danger… legally speaking.
Under Admin mode, you do anything, “they” also.
What can you do?
The answer is simple: “Create two accounts!”,as I already recommended you to have two email accounts (in case of hijacking).
Your master Admin account is used when you want to let your computer evolve.
Your User account is the one you use everyday. It doesn’t constraint you.
You don’t need to restart your computer, just to open another session. The ‘restart menu’ gives you this possibility.
When you wake up your computer after some ‘sleeping’ time, it always give you the choice between the different accounts.
Don’t let your door or window open to intruders, malicious persons or hackers!
You are the only one responsible for your security.
See you soon, safer with your information