Why Administrator Accounts Are a Terrible Idea
What is an administrator account? An administrator account is a type of account that let's you access a computer that has maximum privileges. You need to be the administrator of a computer in order to do all of that backend stuff that makes significant changes to the machine. If you want to install software, if you wanna delete software, if you want to do upgrades and the like, you generally will require administrator access. Administrator access is VIP access, it can do whatever it wants. Think of it like the velvet rope that you see at the clubs. If you've got administrator access, you can do whatever you want on any of your machines, including installing malware. The majority of computer malware viruses and trojans in order to install on your computer, in order to infect your machine, they require administrator access. If you don't grant them administrator access, many, many, many of these threats cannot install. So you need to pay attention. If for example, you want to know well ho...
w do I know if something's trying to infect me? Pay close attention to what goes on on your machine. If you click on a link and you are logged in as administrator and that link is infectious, if it goes out to malware, if you're logged in as administrator, then the link will execute and the malware will install on your machine. Because it has full permission to do so. If you download a PDF and you're logged in as administrator, if you download an Excel spreadsheet and you're logged in as administrator and you click on an infected file, the malware will install in the background and you will never know. If however you are not logged in as administrator and instead you are logged in as a standard user, you will see a pop-up screen like this. Hey, we see you want administrative access to the computer. Why? Enter your password to continue. You should never, ever, ever, ever, need administrative access when you click on a link. You should never need administrative access to open up a PDF file. Consider this like the blue and red lights of the police car behind you. If you see that pop-up telling you to enter your admin password, that's a warning. It's telling you to slow down. If you want to avoid the computer version of Ebola, do not run your computer as an administrator. Instead, make sure that you only surf as a standard user. Now, you may be asking how do I know if I'm the administrator? How do I know if I'm a standard user? There's a very simple way to tell. If there is only one account on your computer, you by default have to be the administrator. There has to be somebody who can install software updates, delete files. So how many of you have just one account on your computer? You are the administrator and that means you're doing everything as the administrator. Which means if you click on anything, you can be infected with anything. Don't run your computer as the administrator. Instead create a second account. Keep one account as the administrator and make a new account which is a standard user account. Or you can do it in a verse way, which I'll explain in a moment. First, how do you do this? On the Macs, just go to settings, click on users and groups. And you can see all of these different accounts here. It turns out that the current user is admin. As I mentioned, that's dangerous. Well but on that account I have all of my bookmarks for my website and I have all of my documents and all that other stuff, I don't wanna create a new account and lose everything. Don't worry, you don't have to. There's a much simpler way to do it. Create a second account. Make that account an administrator. Once you have created that administrator account, it's up and running, you've rebooted, now you can go back to your old account and you can change the level of it's access to standard user. Again, so you don't have to go ahead and screw with all your old data, you don't have to lose anything, just create a brand new administrator account. And then once you've done that, log in and change your old account to a standard user account. And the way you would do that is just go into user groups, hit add and the little check box looks like this. Allow user to administer the computer, turn that off on the account that you're using on a daily basis. And so take out admin privileges from that basic account that you're using all the time. You can do the same thing in Windows as well. Go the Start button. You can either right-click on a name here and it will show you whether or not you're the administrator in some versions of Windows. In others, you can just go into settings, accounts, and there you click on family and others. And you can change the account type there. Now, moving forward from this day on, you should do all of your shopping, your surfing, your banking, the overwhelming majority of what you do online should always be as a user account. You should always be running a user account. Only use the administrator account when it's necessary. And be sure that it's necessary, because malware and viruses are going to do everything they can to trick you to enter in your administrator password. If you yourself didn't just download a new piece of software or try to delete something that you're aware of, be super cautious about putting out your admin password. Now, if you follow this one step alone, I have some really, really, great news for you. This is like Super Bowl of cyber security achievement 101. If you stop using administrator accounts, according to a study by Microsoft and Avetco Security, removing admin rights mitigates 97% of critical Microsoft vulnerabilities, including 95% of vulnerabilities against Microsoft Office, 98% against the Windows operating system itself, and nearly 100% of attacks against Internet Explorer. How many of you are on Windows? Okay, would you like to avoid 100% of some of these vulnerabilities? This is so powerful. How many of you knew about the admin stuff before you came here today? Okay, a few of you. This can make a really big difference. Go home and make this change. Why? Because it is yuge. If you wanna be the best number one super genius, biggest ever cyber security expert in the world who's had the greatest turnout for all of your cyber events in the history of the world, do this. Questions on administrator accounts? Yes, sir.
So in the example on the Mac, it looks like what you do is you're creating two admin accounts and then you change one of them to just a regular user. Did I follow that close?
Correct. You need to always have at least one admin account on the machine. So if your current account is an admin account, you need to create a second admin account. Once you've created that second admin account, log in and go back into the settings that I showed and change your old account, the one that you've been using for years, back to standard user. You won't lose any of your data, all of your information, bookmarks, documents, histories, will all be there. It's just that from that point on if you click on an infected document or an infected link, it shouldn't have the ability to execute.
Okay, thank you.