Are You Taking Steps To Secure Your Desktop Experience?
If you were asked to name the first step to personal computer security, what would you reply? A painfully secure password? Anti-Virus? A firewall? All of these are important, of course, but I am going to recommend something you may not have thought of.
You are familiar with the pop up that says “You must be an administrator” to install software or drivers, and potentially ruin your computer. This pop up is there for your protection. Unfortunately, Windows computers have always allowed you to be an administrator by default on your computer. And why not? It’s your computer, right? That makes sense, but it also makes sense that the first step to security on your computer means running day to day not as an administrator but as an account that does not have the power to potentially bring problems to your computing experience.
You are probably familiar with the emails that ask you to “just click here” promising a wonderful payout, but instead delivering malware. Did you know that a non-administrative user account will prevent many of these things from running even if you do click the link! Maybe now you see why I mentioned this as the FIRST step in security.
Ok, I have convinced you right? How can you make this change? I will show you how. The key is to have an administrative account available to you so you can enter the name and password when needed. Have some fun, create an account you can have fun with! Mine is uncreative, username_adm. I could just as easily make my account name “Superman, or Woman” or something similar. Let’s start. I am giving instructions for Windows 10. The steps on other versions may be a little different, you likely are already not using an admin account at work. (You will need to be an administrator to do this)
Create a local user or administrator account in Windows 10
Here’s how to create another account on your PC for a child or someone else who doesn’t have a Microsoft account. Once you create a password for a local account, don’t forget it—there is no way to recover a lost password for local accounts.
• Note: To help keep your personal data and info more secure, we recommend adding a password when creating a local account.
• On Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Professional editions:
1. Select the Start button, then select Settings > Accounts > Family & other people > Add someone else to this PC.
2. Enter a username, password, password hint, and then select Next.
• On Windows 10 Enterprise edition:
1. Select the Start button, then select Settings > Accounts > Other people > Add someone else to this PC.
2. At the bottom of the page, select I don’t have this person’s sign-in information, and at the bottom of the next page, select Add a user without a Microsoft account.
3. Enter a username, password, password hint, and then select Next.
• To make the new account an administrator account, select Start > Settings > Account > Family & other people (or Other people, if you’re using Windows 10 Enterprise), and select Change account type. Under Account type, select Administrator > OK. Restart your machine and sign in with the new administrator account.
Putting Security Into Practice
Now that this account is created, you need to change your original account to a non-administrative account. From now on log on as non-administrator and when prompted use the new administrator account only when prompted. Many processes are stopped cold while you are logged on as a non-admin.
In case you are wondering, yes I practice what I preach. At home and at work I am logged on with a non-admin account. Congratulations, after completing this, you are protected from many malware processes without any intervention on either your part or on the part of your security software.