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View Full Version : Security, multiple user accounts?




InfiniteLoopy
Jul 17, 2012, 02:05 PM
With Mountain Lion imminent, I've been rethinking security.
Up until now, I've never had a separate admin account. Is it still recommended to not have admin privileges for your everyday account?

How does this work in practice? Currently, in my unique admin-level account I am sometimes asked for my admin password to install things. If my everyday account was not admin, would I have to enter an admin's username and password in order to install stuff?
Is this done without leaving the everyday account or must I log into the admin account in order to install applications?

I also wonder whether it would be worthwhile having another account, for non-Appstore, non-signed applications. This would effectively sandbox them from my everyday account, right?

Also, what are your thoughts on apps like Little Snitch. Are they worth it?

Thanks,



GGJstudios
Jul 17, 2012, 02:10 PM
Is it still recommended to not have admin privileges for your everyday account?
There is no disadvantage to using an admin account as your everyday account.

If my everyday account was not admin, would I have to enter an admin's username and password in order to install stuff?
Yes, for the most part. There are some apps that don't require a password to install.

Is this done without leaving the everyday account or must I log into the admin account in order to install applications?
You can install apps from a standard user account by entering the admin password.


I also wonder whether it would be worthwhile having another account, for non-Appstore, non-signed applications. This would effectively sandbox them from my everyday account, right?
No, as any apps are available to all users unless installed in the user's Application folder instead of the /Applications folder.

Also, what are your thoughts on apps like Little Snitch. Are they worth it?
Some like it. I tried it and found it to be more annoying than anything.

InfiniteLoopy
Jul 18, 2012, 01:17 PM
Thanks.
Are you sure that there is no disadvantage in using an admin account as my everyday account? I mean, I've been doing it for years, but I thought it wasn't recommended by Apple.

GGJstudios
Jul 18, 2012, 01:22 PM
Thanks.
Are you sure that there is no disadvantage in using an admin account as my everyday account? I mean, I've been doing it for years, but I thought it wasn't recommended by Apple.
No, there is no advantage. The default account you set up when you first get a Mac is an admin account. Most users never set up another account.

InfiniteLoopy
Jul 19, 2012, 12:22 PM
Thanks for your reply.
I'm surprised though as I thought that running a non-admin account would prevent malware and other bad things self-installing...

Mal
Jul 19, 2012, 12:25 PM
Thanks for your reply.
I'm surprised though as I thought that running a non-admin account would prevent malware and other bad things self-installing...

Nope. Mac OS X's authentication and permissions system don't allow any system-wide app installs without an admin password, even if you're already logged in as an admin. If you were running as root (an incredibly bad idea), then a password isn't required for that, but you have to really try to enable root and run it as default.

jW