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Windows 7: Account Password Security Question

26 Sep 2010   #1
Leopard

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64, via Bootcamp.
 
 
Account Password Security Question

Hello forum,

I'm the only person who uses my computer, and I never travel anywhere with it.

Now consider the following two situations:-
1.) Using administrator account with no password, no UAC and automatic login/wakeup.
2.) Using administrator account with a password, no UAC and automatic login*/wakeup.

*Automatic login with a password would be achieved following this guide:
Log On Automatically at Startup

Right now I'm in situation 1. Would I be more secure if I switched to situation 2, or would my 'security level' essentially stay the same? Why?

Thanks guys.

Sincerely,

Andrew


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

27 Sep 2010   #2
jav

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1
 
 

It all depends on how you define "security"

so, what do you mean:
  • Security from malware
  • Security from hackers
  • Security from people who put their nose everywhere
  • Security from data thief in case of stolen computer
  • etc...
?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Sep 2010   #3
Leopard

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64, via Bootcamp.
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jav View Post
It all depends on how you define "security"

so, what do you mean:
  • Security from malware
  • Security from hackers
  • Security from people who put their nose everywhere
  • Security from data thief in case of stolen computer
  • etc...
?
Security from hackers.

The computer (a laptop) is pretty much as safe as possible physically speaking, since I'm the only one who uses it, and it sits home with me all the time.

I'm not concerned about malware, since I don't do any risky business, visit risky websites or use IE. I also scan (very) occasionally with Microsoft's Security Essentials.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


27 Sep 2010   #4
jav

Windows 7 Ultimate x86 SP1
 
 

As far as I can see:
No, There is no security benefit for you in your situation.

But, you may have to create password if you want to share files/folders on your network
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #5
Corrine

Windows 7 & Windows Vista Ultimate
 
 

Hi, Leopard.

Do you do online banking? Can someone access your e-mail account via a click of the button (either to the webpage or via an e-mail program) without a password? Are site passwords stored by your browser? If you never leave your home without locking the doors and activating the security system, then leaving your computer without at least a logon password should be fine. Personally, as the sole user of my computers, I don't mind the few seconds it takes to type in a password. Nor do I mind confirming elevation of a UAC prompt when installing or updating a program.

Next. with regard to your statement that you don't visit risky websites or use IE --

-- I have a friend who works for Microsoft in the security area. As you can imagine, any computer he uses is well protected. He was conducting a search on a server issue, clicked the link and sure enough -- the site was infected.

-- Although my preferred browser is Firefox for the add-ons I regularly use, forget the stories about IE not being a secure browser. It may have been true during the days of IE5 and IE6 that other browsers were more secure. That is not the case today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2010   #6
Leopard

Windows 7 Ultimate x86-64, via Bootcamp.
 
 

Hi Corrine,
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Do you do online banking?
No.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Can someone access your e-mail account via a click of the button (either to the webpage or via an e-mail program) without a password?
Yes.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Are site passwords stored by your browser?
Yes.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
If you never leave your home without locking the doors and activating the security system, then leaving your computer without at least a logon password should be fine.
I rarely do, haha.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Personally, as the sole user of my computers, I don't mind the few seconds it takes to type in a password.
It's a personal preference I guess. I just like my PC to start up as fast as i can so I can get going. I'm the kind of OCD guy who disables every service possible, defragments his partition often, and uses CCleaner to clean up the registry and remove unneeded temporary files, cookies from websites I don't use often and has to have his desktop and file structures just right.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Nor do I mind confirming elevation of a UAC prompt when installing or updating a program.
I do. Many of my programs require UAC elevation when I open them. It gets really annoying confirming UAC all the time just to use my program. I watch what I download, and I watch what I run.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Next. with regard to your statement that you don't visit risky websites or use IE --
-- I have a friend who works for Microsoft in the security area. As you can imagine, any computer he uses is well protected. He was conducting a search on a server issue, clicked the link and sure enough -- the site was infected.
How so?
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
-- Although my preferred browser is Firefox for the add-ons I regularly use, forget the stories about IE not being a secure browser. It may have been true during the days of IE5 and IE6 that other browsers were more secure. That is not the case today.
This may be true, but I also use Firefox (when I'm on Windows) with AdBlock Plus and NoScript, which makes many browser-based attacks impossible.

Also, isn't ActiveX a security risk? Not using IE ≈ not using ActiveX. Personally, I've never been to a website that required ActiveX to function properly, so losing this functionality doesn't bother me.

By the way, I'm sorry for not replying very quickly.

Thanks,

Andrew
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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