Windows 7 Advice – Use a User rather than Admin to rid 90% of Vulnerabilities

When using Microsoft [MSFT] Windows 7 logged in as an admin user (hands up who is guilty of that!), a report says that your computer is very vulnerable when compared to using your computer as a regular user with standard user rights. Tests indicated that 90% of vulnerabilities can attack your computer just because you are logged in as an admin.

The sensible option here would be to just create a user account and use that when day to day computing tasks need to be done.

Ninety percent of critical Microsoft Windows 7 vulnerabilities can be mitigated by configuring the operating system for standard user rather than administrator, according to a new report released on Monday.

By taking admin rights off of your user account, or others user accounts you are protecting your computer against ALL of the Microsoft Office vulnerabilities found last year. When using IE as a user you get rid of 100% of holes found there and finally 64% of vulnerabilities found in the rest of the OS for last year are prevented.

There are problems though when running with user rights in that a user cannot install applications or use certain apps that need specific access to certain parts of the drive. It may require an experienced admin configure your PC for you to get specific apps working that normally can’t work by elevating permissions on specific files and folders.

If you just use regular email, word processing, web browsing and a few games of Solitaire it’s time to drop those admin rights for now!

Via: CNET and Beyond Trust [PDF]

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