geek security tips windows

windows non-admin recap

You probably heard about that fact that running Windows with an administrator account isn’t a good idea, even though that is the default setting. I tried not doing that on my main machine, but it turned out to be quite a pain in the digital butt. After a few weeks of having to fast-switch to the admin user, or running some scripts to start a singleĀ  process as admin etc, I gave up, and switched back to the good old insecure admin mode.

I simply end up installing and uninstalling stuff all the time, being a geek and all. I also burn a CD now and then, and for some reason I also needed administrative rights for that. Some software also failed to work straight out of the box, which meant I had to figure out what the hell it was trying to access, and see if I could grant it enough permissions to get it to work anyway.

Now however, I’m using it again (non-admin mode that is) on an old laptop I have lying around. For that little machine it’s quite perfect, since I don’t change it’s configuration much, and it’s basically a simple surfing machine. I also removed the virus scanner from it (OMG!! I know. Living on the edge baby), so running as a non-admin is a much needed precaution in case I do manage to pull some nasty trojan off the web.

No problems so far actually. Non admin is sweet if you keep a few things in mind. Stuff like having to use the “Shared documents” folder to exchange files between user accounts. Limited rights block you from accessing files stored in Program Files for instance. That’s a good thing of course, but I’m just not used to that.

So I guess it all depends on how you are going to use your account/machine. Non-admin is workable for simple stuff. If you intend to change your configuration a lot, or start developing some software on it, non-admin is going to make that pretty damn annoying.

(Photo by jimmyroq, cc-licensed)

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