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Is it considered best practice to have my 'day to day' account on windows 7 as a standard account rather than an admin one? I know the principle of least privilege is a major facet of the security of *nix type OS's. Am i likely to run into problems with running applications with this arrangement?

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The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work. We recommend creating a standard account for each user.

When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.

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Windows 7 was designed for normal users to have two user accounts, one for admin actions, and one for daily use. This acts as a shield against session hijacking and better protects your computer. The only programs that you will run into issues with are poorly written programs. One the bright side, most of these programs were written before windows 7 was released. It is a rare thing for a newer software title to have problems running in a standard user session. –  Doltknuckle Apr 28 '11 at 20:01

A Standard account only gives you access to run certain programs, any settings change on your computer will require the Administrator account. To install any applications, make any change whatsoever requires the Administrator account. Sure, it might be best practice to use the Standard account, but if you want to explore the functionality of your computer, it is better to use the Admin account as you will be able to install programs and change settings and the like.

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