Thursday, July 3, 2008

User Account Control explained

User Account Control (UAC) is one of the most controversial components of Windows Vista. Its job is to lock down the operating system, stopping rogue programs installing themselves on your PC, and warning you before you make any changes that could compromise security.
It’s annoyed some users who find the interruption of the UAC message irritating, However, before you decide turn it off, it’s important to understand what UAC does and what the consequences of disabling it could be.
UAC came about after concerns over security in Windows XP. Back then, all users were given administrative rights by default, meaning that anyone could make changes to the system, even if they didn’t know what they were doing.
When it came to designing Windows Vista, Microsoft decided to lock down security so that the integrity couldn’t be compromised. Secondary accounts are now assigned ‘standard user’ status, which means they’re not allowed to make changes to the system that may affect security. When they try to do this, UAC will ask for an administrator password before it continues.
In theory, this is the way all systems should be run, and while surfing the internet and performing day-to-day tasks, Microsoft advises you to use a standard account and leave your admin account untouched. If something requires admin privileges, you’ll simply be prompted for a password. This is all very well, but few people actually run their computer this way.

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