We’ve all heard the term ‘admin rights’ before, perhaps when the IT manager comes around to fix some problem. But as Ben Parker once said, “with great power comes great responsibility” and that can be the case for the great power that comes with your own computer’s admin rights, too. Devices can be at the whim of the control that an admin account has, and as a result this admin domination can leave our digital lives at risk – even within enterprises. It’s smart to be aware of the concerns, and how you should deal with the potential dangers of admin domination.
What Is an Admin Account?
An admin account is like any other account in that it is protected by a password prior to using a new PC, but also provides the user with full control over the operating system. The temptation of using such a powerful role is obvious. However, remember that once a hacker has gained access to the account, only the sky is the limit in terms of the malicious acts they can inflict.
Why Are Admin Accounts Risky?
This is a case of having too much power. An admin account is allows users to install new software, alter and supplement other accounts, and command how a system operates. It also allows the user to own any network file, meaning that it is possible to change ownership of any relevant document or folder. This leads to being able to restrict access for others, transfer or copy information without authorization, or change certain security policies.
These, in turn, mean that a local administrator account is also able to generate new local admins, which presents a severe risk in terms of security as it can open up access to any malicious person and their accomplices.
Admin-dom is also a risky approach when it comes to setting up, updating or removing apps or programs, which opens the door to many vulnerabilities. Users might not be entirely aware of the consequences of their actions, which in turn brings more risk in terms of data security and system stability.
The solution is to switch to using a standard account. This type of account is much more limited, depending on the operating system used by the device. Usually they are not able to set up new programs and have access to important files.
Despite these restrictions, they are still able to access their own user files and perform daily activities, and are only restricted from making more severe or permanent changes to a PC. Even though it might seem shocking at the beginning, the restriction of power only leads to greater system security.
Because the access available to standard accounts is much more limited, online threats are not as likely to affect your device. And if they do, they can only infect that particular user’s files, leaving most of the device’s software untouched. This is the reason why most specialists recommend using standard user accounts rather than admin accounts.
Even though it might seem too restrictive, a standard account gains advantages over an admin one simply because it is much safer to use for internet security. It is one of those cases where less is indeed more and limited power leads to a much safer, hassle-free online life.