Use multiple accounts


Use multiple accounts
Sharon Crawford

Editor's note: Probably like most people, I log on to my computer with an account that has administrator privileges. That's so I can change things as I need to on the Windows 2000 machine. It makes managing the computer much easier. You may log on to your servers with an administrator account and stay on for a while, again, because its so much easier.

But not so fast. This isn't a great idea, according to this tip, excerpted from

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Windows 2000 Pro, The Missing Manual, published by New Riders. Managing Windows 2000, like everything else in life, is a series of tradeoffs, as this tip indicates.

If you're the administrator on your computer, it's a good idea to use the Administrator account only when performing administrative tasks; spend most of your time on the computer logged on with a normal user account.

The reason is that administrative accounts are the favorite target of hackers; if you're constantly logged on as an administrator, you provide a bigger target. If you should walk away from your machine without logging off, for example, anyone who sits down at your computer has full power over your system.

Fortunately, you don't have to log off your normal account and log on again as an administrator every time you need to perform an administrative task. Instead, you can capitalize on a clever time-saver called the Run AS feature.

It works like this; while pressing the Shift key, right-click the program you want to run (it's icon or even its name in the start menu); then choose Run As from the shortcut menu. [A] dialog box will appear, offering you the change to run the program with the security credentials of a different user account -- such as an account that has Administrator privileges.

You've just saved yourself a time-consuming log off/log on.

Click on the title to read more about Windows 2000 Pro, The Missing Manual.

This was first published in December 2001

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