Safety Precautions For Limited User Accounts In Windows

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 15, 2008

One of the things Windows recognizes and tries to fix is its vulnerability to attacks. These attacks to your PC can cause significant damage to your system and the information you keep stored on it. Even if you run anti-virus and spyware software, sophisticated hackers and programs can still access your computer.

There are a number of safety precautions you can take for your computer by using a limited user account. Limited user accounts are a great way to protect your computer from attacks by granting specified users limited access to certain things that could potentially damage your computer.

The security that comes with limited user accounts is the reason most people sign up their employees or people that use their computer on as limited users. Most people don’t need full administrator access anyway, as it handles more complicated functions and applications that are not needed for day to day use.

Users who have limited user accounts can still perform most, if not all, functions needed for day to day use on the computer at home or at work. For example, users can still write documents in Word, make spreadsheets in Excel, and design Power Point presentations. They can listen to music programs and use photo editing programs on Windows, among other Windows programs. They can play games. They can surf the internet and send and receive emails, and they can change their user passwords and pictures.

Limited access users can not, on the other hand, install or download new software or hardware programs. They can’t change their name that is under the account, nor can they change their account status (for example, from limited user account to administrator account.)

Limited user accounts are an excellent security measure to take. Because the user is limited in what he or she can and cannot access, computer attacks from the outside are also limited in what they attack on the computer. The inability to download certain programs that are known threats is also a good security precaution that limited user accounts provide.

However, there are a few significant disadvantages to using limited user accounts as well. Some things you should be aware of when it comes to using limited user accounts in windows include:

Some programs will not run, or they will run with problems. For example, spelling and grammar checks in MS Word 97 do not run on Windows XP for those who have limited user accounts. These applications require specific keys that only administrators have.

Security programs and software may not run. If you are logged on as a limited user, you may run into some problems using and running certain Antivirus software and Internet security programs. Parts of these Internet and computer security programs, such as the full system scam and definitions for viruses, require administrative privileges that limited user accounts do not have.

These problems are not completely unfixable; however, anyone who has a limited user account or who plans on signing limited user accounts should be mindful of them. If you run into these problems, check the Windows website for troubleshooting and help.

Before assigning limited user accounts to your family members or employees, it is important to know the drawbacks as well as the benefits of limited user accounts. Overall, many will agree that the safety precautions that you take by assigning limited user accounts are worth the hassle, considering how well limited user accounts will protect your computer.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Safety Precautions For Limited User Accounts In Windows." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 15 Feb. 2008. Web. 16 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1340/safety-precautions-for-limited-user-accounts-in-windows/ >.