The Importance of the Limited User, Revisited
If you use a computer powered by Microsoft Windows to surf the Web, check your email and so forth, the single most important step you can take to protect your machine from viruses, worms and hackers is to use a "limited user" account for everyday computer use.
By running Windows the way Microsoft ships it -- using the all-powerful administrator account -- you expose yourself to huge security risks. If a Trojan horse or virus makes it onto your machine while you're using an administrator account, it can get its hooks deep into the operating system (often without your knowledge.) However, by regularly using Windows under a limited account, you can safely avoid the vast majority of malware out there today, simply because the limited-user account does not have the right to install programs or change system settings. As a result, when malicious Web sites try to use security weaknesses in the operating system or your Web browser to conduct "drive-by" spyware and malware installs, for example, that installation process fails. Security Fix - Brian Krebs on Computer and Internet Security - (washingtonpost.com)
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