Another recommendation I fail to understand.
The explanation is that, if I use admin account and manage to have my computer infected, the malware is able to take control over my entire system. But:
- The dreaded days of old Windows systems are long gone: nowadays, Windows has UAC, which effectively makes an admin account behave like a standard account, unless the user explicitly authorizes a program to have administrative privileges;
- Unixlike systems have (almost?) forever had
sudoand similar facilities;
- In my LinuxMint installation, I have to escalate to root privileges (via the aforementioned facilities) almost daily: this is required each time updates are to be installed. And even each time I need to format a USB stick. Logging out to a separate admin account each time that happens would be most tedious;
- The above problems can be leveraged by
suing t from the standard accouninto the admin account and doing the work from there; but I suppose, if
sudoing from the admin account is, for some reason, a problem (as the recommendation not to use the admin account still stands), so can be
suing into the admin account from the standard account;
- Even if malware gets installed only on my standard account, with no means to escalate to admin privileges, I'm still screwed. It can add itself to autostart, it can encipher my files, it can spy on my files, it can relink shortcuts and disguise itself as a legitimate program (like Firefox) and steal my passwords from there, etc.
Given the existence of UAC and
sudo-like facilities; Given the aforementioned concerns; I fail to understand the basis of the recommendation to always use regular accounts for everyday work and not admin accounts. And yet the recommendation stands. (I'm hearing it over and over, last time I read it on Niebezpiecznik.pl, a popular and acclaimed infosec blog, as one of their 10 recommendations for "Average Joes".)
Why does such recommendation stand? What am I failing to understand?