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Posted on Apr 16, 2013 in Windows Basics, Windows Vista | 0 comments

Tutorial 5 – The low-down on User Account Controls

In the fifth of our free Windows Vista tutorials, Marc Liron talks us through one of Vista’s most often discussed new security features, the User Account Controls.

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This video is copyright Marc Liron and may not be downloaded or distributed without express written permission.

Additional notes

Few features in Windows Vista have attracted such controversy as the new User Account Controls. Security has become something of an Achilles heel for Windows. Adverts for competing platforms boast how they are rarely affected by viruses and spyware. As Marc rightly points out in the video, this is largely due to most users need to run administrator accounts all the time in Windows XP.

New Vista users are often frustrated as UAC frequently interrupts them as they work to configure their operating system. Many Windows users were hoping that UAC would work as smoothly as the software authentication system in MacOS does, however this has not been the case. Furthermore, security experts were quick to attack the system, saying it does not go far enough and can be circumvented by viruses or malicious software.

Is all this criticism really justified? Many users coming from a Windows XP environment should be used to frequent notifications from their Firewall product. Indeed, top rated XP firewalls such as Zone Alarm and Outpost Firewall may pop up alerts as frequently as UAC does. As for the concerns over the effectiveness of UAC as a security tool, there can be little doubt that it is a big improvement over XP. In a study of Vista security, Symantec researcher Orlando Padilla found that with UAC disabled, Vista’s resistance to malware was similar to that of Windows XP.

In conclusion, we strongly recommend you leave UAC enabled, it is there for your protection. However, the choice is yours, follow this tutorial if you want to learn how to disable it.

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