What is the difference between a user account and an administrator account? 

A user account is an account that has partial control of a computer and often cannot make changes to other accounts on the computer. A user account should be used for everyday home tasks, such as editing photos and browsing the internet. 

An administrator account is an account that has complete control of the computer and can make changes that affect other users of the computer – e.g. installing programs and accessing all files on a computer. 

Why it is important not to use an administrator account for everyday use? 

Administrator accounts are the ‘keys to the kingdom’, as they give a user full control of the computer. Cybercriminals will target administrator accounts in order to take full control of a user’s computer. By not using an administrator account for everyday use you will help limit what a virus or exploit can access if your computer becomes infected. 

The daily use of an administrator account on a computer can be likened to a caretaker using an apartment block master key to enter their own apartment, instead of the dedicated apartment key. Whilst the apartment and master key achieve the same purpose for the caretaker (and might seem convenient for their day job), carrying a master key all the time opens up the caretaker to a greater risk of compromise to the entire building if they lose control of the master key. 

Where do I change it? 

Modification of standard user and administrator accounts can be done in System Preferences or Control Panel.  

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