Administrative Privileges: What You Need to Know

Administrator privileges allow for elevated levels of access to the computer's operating system and provides the ability to make system changes. These elevated privileges also increase the chance of mistakes having elevated consequences.  It is best practice to operate with administrative privileges only when requiring to make changes as an administrator.

If you have administrative privileges on a University computer, your responsibilities include:

  • Awareness that the administrative account increases the potential for computer or network compromises.
    • If you have both an ordinary user account and an administrative account, use the account with administrative privilege only when necessary (e.g., to download software), or when prompted.
    • Avoid using the administrative account to perform daily tasks (such as web browsing and reading email).
  • Install software only from trusted sources (if in doubt, get a second opinion from Technology Support staff).
  • Update the software you install. Configure the software you install to automatically apply updates or periodically manually check for software updates.
  • Keep the licensing current on all software you install.
  • Maintain any service that was included in the initial configuration of your device (such as automated operating system updates„patches, application software patches and anti-virus updates).
  • Avoid the following administrative activities: create additional user accounts, change or disable logging settings, change file permissions or ownership.

The University reserves the right to revoke administrative privileges granted to any user on a University owned system.

If you have questions about using administrative privileges, contact your Technology Support staff or Technology Help.

See the Safe Computing site for more tips on securing your computer.