Improve Your Online Safety

by Barbara J. Feldman on March 1, 2008

Nowadays, you can’t be too safe while online. Sophisticated programs can easily enter your computer and network, harming or even erasing your files and important information without you even knowing it, often after visiting a seemingly-harmless site or downloading something you thought was safe.

There are a number of ways you can improve your safety online. Anti-virus and spyware programs are one way to do so and are often the first thing people think of. However, there are many other things you can do to keep your hardware and information safe from online threats. One of these ways is through limited user accounts.

User accounts define the particular actions an assigned user can or cannot use. This does not just apply to a certain computer; any computer in a network, for example, you will have the same privileges on each computer that you sign into.

Limited user accounts are, as the name implies, accounts that give the user, upon sign-in, limited access to what he or she can do on the computer. Users with limited user accounts can still do everything necessary for their day-to-day activities or work-related jobs, such as surf the Internet, send and receive emails, write documents in Word, create Power Point presentations, or make and enter information into Excel spreadsheets. With a limited user account, users can still listen to music programs, edit and view photos, and many other things.

Limited user accounts have limitations that are designed to protect the computer from outside intrusion by limiting what the user on the account can do. Users can’t add new hardware or software, for example. They cannot download many Internet applications, such as Active X or anything else that may also install spyware or have a virus on it. And, they can’t change their user account status. All these things must be done by a user with administrative access.

How using limited user accounts in windows can improve your online safety

Using limited user accounts in your home or workplace can greatly improve your online safety. Here are a few reasons why:

Limited user accounts give outside attackers limited access too. Because the user is limited in what he or she can download, access, and even see on the Internet, Internet attacks are limited in what they can get at on the computer as well.
Users with limited user accounts are unable to download many Internet applications. Downloading what may seem like harmless programs from the Internet could actually put your computer at risk. Limited user accounts prevent this from happening in many ways.

Who should have limited user accounts?

Few people need full administrative access. Computer administrators have the ability to write and install complicated programs on their computers, and the average computer user will not need to do this. As limited user accounts still allow users to perform most functions, it is a good idea to use them for everyone who has access to your network or computers. This is one of the best safety measures you can take online. You can make as many limited user accounts as you need.

Online safety is important for anyone who uses a computer or who has employees that frequent the Internet. One of the best ways you can improve your online safety is through Windows limited user accounts.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Improve Your Online Safety." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 1 Mar. 2008. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/1365/improve-your-online-safety/ >.