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Thursday, April 17, 2008

You affect all of us

I finally decided to sit down and write the tutorial about configuring Windows XP in a secure fashion, based on my experiences in the last four years or so. And I emphasize again: these methods worked well for me on several computers and even in "though" scenarios like writing and debugging software. And then I read this: the first five things I do when installing Vista, with the first one being: "I enable (and use) the administrator account!".

I don't mean to offend anybody. Being a programmer and having a blog put you somewhere in the top 5% of the population from a computer literacy point of view (then again 39% of all the statistics is made up on the stop :-)). But even so, not all of your choices are well informed. Consider this:

  • You are an example for other people. Do you want all of them to run as Administrator? Do you really trust all of them to do the right things all the time?
  • You are a programmer. By developing as Administrator you are more likely to write programs which run poorly as non-admin. And while you might think "my mom shouldn't run as admin", that's what you're forcing her to do (indirectly) because of software which doesn't run well (or at all) when the user isn't an Admin
  • Do you really believe that you have a 100.0% percent accurate ability to recognize malware? As a virus researcher myself I can assure you that you most likely don't!

Running as a restricted user is all about having a safety net and the ability to relax and not second guess yourself all the time about your actions. Please, make an effort and start the change so that we can cleanup the Internet!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. His example leaves alot to be desired. Here's hoping his Grandma's computer becomes raging infected and she calls out for the "l33t" to bail her out.