If you work with or own a computer, there’s no doubt you have, at some point, encountered a type of virus or security breach. While fairly common using Windows, there are a number of things you can do to protect your computer and the information you store on it. One of these ways is through a limited user account.
What is a limited user account?
A limited user account is, quite simply, access on your computer that allows you to do basic things for your work or day-to-day use. This includes sending emails, writing documents, and getting online. These require basic permissions on the computer.
Limited User Accounts are often used by employers. Taking away certain aspects of the computer, like the ability to install or download certain programs or write system directories and programs makes it much more difficult for spyware and viruses, which rely on the ability to perform these functions, to find their way onto a computer system.
With a limited user account, there are certain things the user can or can’t do on the computer. A few things users can’t do include:
•Inability to add new things. With a limited user account, the user is unable to install software or hardware.
•Inability to change account name and type. When it comes to changing the type of account or the name on the account, only those with full user accounts or computer administrator accounts can make those changes.
Users are still able to do a number of things, including:
•Access programs. While they can’t add new ones, those with limited user accounts can, however, access programs that have already been installed on the computer.
•Change passwords and pictures. Names may not be able to be changed, but the user’s account picture can. In addition, the user can also create, change, or delete his or her password.
•Use programs like Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Excel. You can also use music and photo editing programs.
Should I use a limited user account?
Limited user accounts are sometimes a good idea. Times when they should be considered include:
•You have a lot of employees. If you have a number of employees who are working on the computer, it is not a bad idea to set them up on limited user accounts. This will greatly reduce the risk of them downloading programs they may find on the web, or deleting anything (either intentionally or unintentionally) on the computer that is important.
•You are concerned with security. Limited user accounts are a great way to keep harmful malware off of your computers. Limited access not only gives the user limited access, but it gives malware and attackers limited access as well.
•You know the downsides. While there are definite pluses to making users limited, there are also some downsides you should be aware of as well. For example, there are certain programs that don’t function correctly when the user has limited access.
Setting up a limited user account is a good idea for those concerned with security or who want users to have access to necessary programs, like Word and email, but not administration capabilities. Setting up a limited user account is also easy to do, and instructions can be found on the Windows website.