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Is Admin account an security risk?


Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#1
I've heard browsing on admin accounts puts you at a lot more risk than using a less privileged user account, what are some things I can do to make it more secure? I got UAC at the highest level but I'm not sure if that makes a big difference
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,516
#2
Hello Josh,

Being signed in to the built-in elevated "Administrator" account is more of a security risk because it's an unrestricted "elevated" account. Everything that runs (including malware) while you are signed in to this account will also be running with the same unrestricted elevated rights.

Normally, you would get an UAC prompt anytime something wants to run elevated (Run as administrator). You do not get prompted by UAC in the built-in elevated "Administrator" account since it's already elevated.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#3
Hello Josh,

Being signed in to the built-in elevated "Administrator" account is more of a security risk because it's an unrestricted "elevated" account. Everything that runs (including malware) while you are signed in to this account will also be running with the same unrestricted elevated rights.

Normally, you would get an UAC prompt anytime something wants to run elevated (Run as administrator). You do not get prompted by UAC in the built-in elevated "Administrator" account since it's already elevated.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
Hi, this might be a stupid question, but since I got everything setup on my User Account how I like it, is there a possible way to remove admin rights while browsing or to change the account type to non-admin?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,516
#4

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#5
It's not recommended to remove the elevated rights of the local built-in "Administrator" account since you could need it to get out of a jam in the future.

It'll be a pain, but it would be better to create a new normal administrator account to use instead.

http://www.eightforums.com/tutorials/5536-user-account-add-new-user-windows-8-a.html
Thanks I got 1 more question, it's been awhile since I've used an computer with more than one user account, will my security settings be in place on the new account, like my dns, file sharing turned off etc. and would my programs like my vpn and browsers be on it or would I have to re-download them
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,516
#6
The programs will still be on the computer, but you'll need to create new shortcuts for them from the .exe file of the program.

The security settings should still be set since that's a system setting, but all other personal settings will need to be set again.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#7
Thanks again, just wondering would "Sandboxing" a web browser work effectively to keep malware off my computer?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,516
#8
It'll certainly help, but I don't think anything is 100%.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#9
Have you ever tried Sandboxie?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes

Brink

Administrator
Administrator
mvp
Posts
23,516
#10
No, but I hear it's a good choice.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    64-bit Windows 10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Custom self built
    CPU
    Intel i7-8700K OC'd to 5 GHz
    Motherboard
    ASUS ROG Maximus XI Formula Z390
    Memory
    16 GB (8GBx2) G.SKILL TridentZ DDR4 3200 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    ASUS ROG-STRIX-GTX1080TI-O11G-GAMING
    Sound Card
    Integrated Digital Audio (S/PDIF)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    3 x 27" Asus VE278Q
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
    Hard Drives
    250GB Samsung 960 EVO M.2,
    256GB OCZ Vector,
    6TB WD Black WD6001FZWX
    8TB WD MyCloudEX2Ultra NAS
    PSU
    OCZ Series Gold OCZZ1000M 1000W
    Case
    Thermaltake Core P3
    Cooling
    Corsair Hydro H115i
    Keyboard
    Logitech wireless K800
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master
    Internet Speed
    1 Gb/s Download and 35 Mb/s Upload
    Browser
    Internet Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    Malwarebyte Anti-Malware Premium
    Other Info
    Logitech Z625 speaker system,
    Logitech BRIO 4K Pro webcam,
    HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdn,
    Linksys EA9500 router,
    Arris SB8200 cable modem,
    APC SMART-UPS RT 1000 XL - SURT1000XLI,
    Lumia 1520 phone

Jcwisgod

New Member
Member
USA

Posts
265
#11
I think I'm going to give it a try and see how it does, hoping it'll work with opera
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Ultrabook
    CPU
    2.6 GHz Core i5-3317U
    Memory
    8 gb DDR3 Ram
    Screen Resolution
    1366 x 768
    Hard Drives
    320gb HDD, 120gb SSD
    Keyboard
    Backlight Island Style Keyboard
    Mouse
    Trackpad
    Internet Speed
    18 MB/S DL Speed
    Browser
    Opera
    Antivirus
    Avast/Malwarebytes