Understanding User Account Control

User Account Control or UAC is a new feature that Microsoft first introduced in Windows Vista, some of you might not know it by name but you have been see it in Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is a message the come up and ask you that this program what to do something and then you have option such as Continue or Yes and Cancel or No. It might looks somehow troublesome when you face this message but you will learn that it could save your PC’s life. Firstly let us discuss what why we need it at a first place. In any system there are sensitive parts that if they fail it would cause huge damage to entire system or cause problem. For example in a country military bases and country administrator offices such as president or prime minister or supreme leader would be sensitive part of that country that if they fall, it cause country falls. In a car or motorcycle, engine and some other parts are sensitive parts of the system for example if your car’s engine damage your car might NOT turn on. In your Windows you have sensitive parts that should be protected in order to prevent from damage. In Windows XP, if you have been entering as Administer account (which is your default account) then you could make changes to these parts easily without any pre-checking. It is similar to entering president office without security check. That sounds nice because you just enter president office and say hi to him or her without going through so much security checking and appointment but the thing is that if bad guys enters there it could be huge problem for entire country. Therefore if let say there is a president office that you just could go ahead there without security checking then you will surprise and might ask how they protect their president. It was similar issue in Windows XP, in Windows XP, if you login as Administer which is your default account you would access to most of sensitive part of system and you should have access to them because let say for installing application you need to access them but if something bad such as Malware (Virus, Worm, Trojan, Spyware) should enter to your system and access those part, then you are in trouble. Of course Anti-Virus and Firewall could help you but user also must be careful (which in most of the time users are not). In that case one recommendation was that user create another account such as standard user account which don’t have Administrator right which mean don’t have access to sensitive part of the system and use it for their daily job but when they have something that need access to sensitive part of system then they have to log out from standard account and then log in to administrator account and that would be extra task. In other hand when one person uses PC they prefer to have single account than multiple accounts. Therefore in Windows Vista a new feature introduce that over come these problems. What if you could use single account and also protect your sensitive parts of system? That’s sound great. You will log in as Administrator and you could do your normal task easily but whenever it comes to part that you need to access sensitive part of system then UAC will come up and ask you question that are you sure? Instead of switching user accounts and instead of just accessing sensitive parts of system without  any security checking you a message give permission from you and do rechecking before you proceed to your action. Note that UAC will NOT just show up everywhere, it will show up only when something important would change that if it changes by good things it would be fine but if it changes with bad thing it will cause huge trouble in your entire system. For example when you install program it will come up because it might be you that installing program which is good but it also might be someone else such as hackers that try to access your entire system which is bad and it will give chance for you to chose if it is you action or cancel if it is other ones action. Another example, one of common scenarios is in IMs which are your Windows Live Messenger, AOL Messenger, Yahoo messenger and others. One of common things that bad guys do is that they will send you link and they say please look at my new photo using your messenger but instead of sending photo files they will send you a Virus and here is when UAC will save you. If it is photo files it is nothing to do with sensitive part of Operating System and it will just open BUT , if it be a virus that need to install UAC will come up and ask you do you want to continue or not? That’s making different that you will realize that, it is NOT photo. Therefore it makes different. If someone wants to attack your president or prime minister it might attack in one of the bodyguards uniform, that’s why bodyguards would also recheck before enter president or Prime Minister Office. In your Windows, if bad guys want to attack your Windows’ president or prime ministers offices (which are sensitive parts) then UAC will do re-security check and will help you. Therefore whenever you will see UAC instead of complain about it know that it will ask you for permission and it will help you to protect your PC against bad things and it will come only when you want to access something sensitive (in other word it is similar to when we say someone entering prime minster or president office).

 

 (Image of User Account Control (UAC) in Windows 7)

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