Admin account versus non-admin account for daily work on OS X

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Paul Sture, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Paul Sture

    Paul Sture Guest

    Problem statement: A long time ago I decided that doing most of my daily
    work in a non-admin account was the only sensible thing to do. For me
    it's a matter of discipline and good practice.

    I have now come across someone who is technically very competent but is
    telling OS X newbies that using an admin account for daily work is much
    safer than in Windows and actually encouraging it.

    For me it's a no brainer to say no, he's wrong, but I could do with some
    technical arguments and hopefully examples to explain my point of view.

    Cheers in advance for your input.
     
    Paul Sture, Apr 22, 2012
    #1
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  2. Paul Sture

    Alan Baker Guest

    There is no need to explain your point of view.

    Any time you need administrator rights while using a non-admin
    account... ...you've got 'em.

    --
    Alan Baker
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    "If you raise the ceiling four feet, move the fireplace from that wall
    to that wall, you'll still only get the full stereophonic effect if you
    sit in the bottom of that cupboard."
     
    Alan Baker, Apr 23, 2012
    #2
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  3. Paul Sture

    JF Mezei Guest

    At the GUI level, I am somewhat puzzled on why some activities can be
    performed without spaecial stuff on an admit account, some require entry
    of the administrator password, and others can't be done, you need to go
    command line and sudo the command to get it done.
     
    JF Mezei, Apr 23, 2012
    #3
  4. Running in an admin account allows more opportunity to screwup,
    including ways that can result in a non-functional install and loss of
    important data. It also opens the doors for either badly written or
    outright malicious scripts and apps to wreck havoc.

    Why make it easier for things to go wrong? I mean - how often are people
    accessing protected folders and preferences in a standard user account?
    I install at least one app a day (nightly builds I test), but that's
    unusual. I also maybe change a system preference requiring
    authentication once a week. Oh, and I run Software Update daily.

    So I have to enter my login info three times max, and usually only twice
    most days. It's not even worth debate. For a few seconds a day I get
    greater peace of mind from my own mistakes, other people's mistakes, and
    malicious attempts to take control of my Mac.

    Running as a standard user isn't some invunerability shield, but it's
    the difference between locking your front door and leaving it wide open.
    You don't make it easier for things to go wrong if the downsides are
    negligible - it's that simple :)
     
    Jamie Kahn Genet, Apr 23, 2012
    #4
  5. Paul Sture

    dorayme Guest

    You his mother, they often say what their sons do and do not need?

    The best argument I know is that if anyone does break into your
    account while online or physically while you are logged in as admin,
    they have access to far more than they would if you were not so logged
    in and can cause more trouble and that it is therefore basically
    sensible from a security point of view to normally run as non-admin.
    Why tempt fate?
     
    dorayme, Apr 23, 2012
    #5
  6. Not "all", but most of them.

    YK
     
    You're Kidding?, Apr 23, 2012
    #6
  7. Paul Sture

    Király Guest

    Adding an item to Software Update's ignore list.
     
    Király, Apr 23, 2012
    #7
  8. Paul Sture

    Király Guest

    Right, so no built-in way to do that task using the GUI exclusively,
    from a non-admin account.
     
    Király, Apr 23, 2012
    #8
  9. Run Apple Remote Desktop.

    YK
     
    You're Kidding?, Apr 24, 2012
    #9
  10. Paul Sture

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    I have seven accounts on my iMac, one administrator and six user
    account. One of the user accounts is for my day to day internet
    exploring and such. The remaining five user accounts are for projects I
    am working on and where I like to keep all of the parts of the project
    isolated. Maybe this won't work for others but it works just fine for
    me.
     
    TaliesinSoft, Apr 24, 2012
    #10
  11. Paul Sture

    billy Guest

    http://www.sans.org/score/macosxchecklist.php

    See "Types of User Accounts and Account Philosophy" starting on page 6.

    Who is SANS?

    http://www.sans.org/about/sans.php

    Billy Y..
     
    billy, Apr 24, 2012
    #11
  12. Paul Sture

    Király Guest

    I also have seven; two standard for my wife and me, two managed for the
    kids. One non-admin test account for troubleshooting. One non-admin
    account used only for EyeTV and watching movies, and one admin
    account. The account that is used the least is the admin account. I
    can't remember the last time anybody has logged in to it. No need to.
     
    Király, Apr 24, 2012
    #12
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