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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

 
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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
You can subscribe via Email or RSS.


Table of Contents (view all)

Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Yearís Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box
Security Starts With You


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - Almanac Vol. 56, No. 1

Donít Use Excessive Privileges on Your Computer

Computer privileges are like scissors; itís not safe to "run" with them.

Windows and Macintosh computers assign users specific capabilities. On a Mac, they are called "privileges." Windows calls them "rights." The most privileged account, "Administrator," has privileges to create new accounts, read or delete any file, modify the operating system and much more.

Few such privileges are needed for most day-to-day computer activities like reading e-mail, using a web browser, or creating documents or spreadsheets. All that is needed for most activities is the limited set of privileges that come with what Mac and Windows both call a "standard" account. Typically, Administrator privileges are only needed occasionally, to apply software updates, for example.

If, as a result of visiting a malicious website or opening an infected e-mail attachment, you were to unknowingly activate a computer virus on your computer, it would have all of the same privileges as the account you are running. If you are running as a standard user, without Administrator privileges, over 90 percent of malicious software will be unable to compromise your computer.

Of course, it is necessary from time to time, to use Administrator privileges. But by using those privileges only when needed, you dramatically increase your security.

Please check with your Local Support Provider if you're not sure which account you are using.

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