Ten Ways to Dodge CyberBullets, Part 3

This is the third in a series and is an update to our top 10 things that people can do to protect themselves against malicious activity we provided to our clients two years ago.

3. Do you need administrative privileges?

Log on to your computer with an account that doesn’t have “Administrator” privileges to reduce the likelihood and severity of damage from self-installing malware. Multiuser operating systems (and nowadays, few operating systems assume that a machine will be used by a single user at a single level of privilege) allow you to create an account for everyday use that allows you less privileges than are available to an administrator.

Most competent system administrators are familiar with (and adhere to) this “principle of least privilege” – simplistically, the more privileges you have as a user, the more damage you can do – and use a privileged account only when it is needed to perform a specific task. Following their lead will give an extra layer of protection. However, as always, you shouldn’t think of this as any sort of Magic Bullet. Apart from the fact that there is no Magic Bullet, some modern operating systems have somewhat diluted the least-privilege model, making it rather easy for a user with little knowledge of the security implications of administrative privilege to use it nappropriately, exposing the system to threat.

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System Solutions and Integration

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