Is general account user really needed?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by diegobgr, May 11, 2012.

  1. diegobgr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2009
    #1
    Hi.

    Is there really a must to creat a general user account? Or the default account with password is enough?

    90% of my software comes from Mac App Store, expect Steam, Perian, Flash and Nikon Capture NX 2. I download all of them from their official sites. Always.

    I don't have any piracy software. I don't use Java.

    Obviously, I don't give my password to anything that I don't know.

    What do you think? What do you use?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #2
    Running as an admin account on a Mac is perfectly normal and not a security risk. Many advocate using a standard account, but it provides no security benefit on a Mac, as you are still asked to authenticate before performing any critical tasks, and more importantly, applications do not automatically inherit your permissions level. Thus, while Windows and other OS's may work differently, on Mac OS X, it is perfectly safe to use an administrator account as your primary user account. I, and many others, have been doing it ever since OS X came out with not a problem among us.

    jW
     
  3. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #3
    Some people swear by running constantly in the root user. It has its benefits I'm sure but a few downsides also.
     
  4. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #4
    Incredibly bad idea. Even if you know what you're doing, a simple slip of the finger could cause hours of frustration trying to fix a mistake. In addition, software run as root does not have restrictions, and thus malware could wreak havoc on a system if you were running as root (although I don't know of any that would be extra dangerous right now).

    jW
     
  5. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    #5
    It depends how paranoid you are, and how skeptical you are on being prompted for your password.

    If you're competent, runnning as an admin is generally fine, as said due to the password prompting.

    However - it is an increased level of risk. You are relying on the fact that no software manages to pretend to be a system dialog box prompting for credentials, and fool you.


    Running as a non-privileged user unless you NEED to install software or make system level changes is always going to be safer - even if someone managed to get a keylogger to run in your account's security context, they still can't break the system (in theory).

    For me, I consider the situation of running as an admin with password prompting to be an acceptable trade-off. I have backups and not a lot of real mission critical info on my machine.

    If i had company financial info on there? No way.
     
  6. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #6
    There's absolutely no benefit to running as a standard user in the cases you mentioned. If an application needs admin privileges to install, it still prompts the user for them, it simply doesn't fill in the username automatically. There is no other difference. That does not affect the security when it comes to the user not knowing if it's safe to enter that password.

    I repeat: there is no benefit to running as a standard user on a single-user machine.

    jW
     

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