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Cybersecurity Tip of the Week – Activate Administrator Privileges to Protect Yourself and Your Family


Having local admin rights means that you have full control over a local computer, including the authority to add and remove hardware and software. If you have a family or shared computer, make sure everyone using the device is protected by adding administrative controls to restrict downloads and installations.

Many modern operating systems allow you to require approval from an administrator (i.e., primary user) before executing scripts, device drivers, and system firmware. Adding this feature will make sure those that are less tech-savvy, whether young or old, do not install harmful software when they fall for a phish.

To set up an account as an administrator in Windows:

  • Click the Windows Start button.
  • Click Settings.
  • Select Accounts.
  • Choose Family & other users.
  • Click on your user account under the Other users panel.
  • Select Change account type.
  • Choose Administrator from the dropdown.

As the administrator, your password or PIN will be required to authorize downloads and installations on the computer.

If you have Macs, Apple has a support page guiding you through the setup.