Ensure that your account is password-protected and set to the proper user level.
- [Instructor] Your Windows sign-in requires a password, it's necessary. Without that password your account could come under attack, your data compromised, and your computer system invaded. Further, your Windows account is associated with a security level. That security level helps remind you of the consequences of certain actions, as well as prevents you from changing certain settings. To control account security options, you can use the settings app but, here's a quick shortcut. Click the Start button, and choose your account button. Now here it's shown as a generic avatar, but it's still what you want to click so click that and choose change account settings.
Here you see my account on the system. The account name is Dan Gookin which coincidentally happens to be my name. This is a local account so it's not associated with an email address. If it was you would see the email address appear here, and the account security level is administrator, which is the highest and most privileged account level. Now don't get impressed. There are only two account levels. The other level is standard which still lets you use the computer but you must type an administrator password to access features that change system-wide settings.
That's how security works. Standard users can use the computer for productivity purposes, but they can't install new applications, update software or make modifications to the Windows operating system. A better location to deal with accounts is found in the Control Panel. Press the Windows and E keyboard shortcut to summon a File Explorer window and choose Control Panel from the address bar. Choose User Accounts, and User Accounts. See these shield icons? They flag items in Windows that require an elevated security level.
An administrator can access those items directly, though the shield serves as a warning and a reminder about potential changes to the system. A user with a standard account can click a shield item as well but they must type an administrator password to continue. Now if you choose change your account type, you can reset your account between standard and administrator though when you use the computer's primary account, it can only be an administrator level account. Other users on the same PC can be given standard accounts. In fact for a higher level of security, you can configure a second standard level account for yourself though that's really going a bit too far, unless you just really don't trust yourself.
To increase security further you can modify the user account control settings. Choose change user account control settings. This slider tells Windows when and how frequently to bother you with a UAC warning. Choose the top level to increase notifications. Now I don't recommend that you use the lowest setting. I believe this option was provided as a reply to people who just don't like the warnings, but the warnings do serve a purpose. For example if you set the top level and click okay, remember that shield icon? Well there's the UAC warning.
Do you really want to make this change? That's a reminder that you're about to alter something in the computer that affects your accounts, other accounts and the entire system. Now I'm going to click no because I would find this level of intrusion bothersome. Even higher levels of account security can be applied but typically this type of security policy is set by an organization's IT staff. For individuals, setting security is important, but nothing is to be gained if you overdo it.
- Fighting malware
- Using a firewall
- Backing up your PC
- Restoring your system
- Configuring Windows Update
- Installing updates
- Improving PC performance