Wednesday, November 4, 2009

User Account Control

Perhaps you are one of the computer users who have been wondering where on earth these messages are coming from: “Windows needs your permission to continue” or “ A program needs your permission to continue” or “This program has been blocked?”. It’s almost a jargon that needs your solution but it seems you don’t know where to start from. Such messages originate because of a Windows feature called User Account Control (UAC). Let’s see what UAC is all about.

User Account Control or UAC is a Microsoft Windows feature that helps to control unauthorized changes which can be made on your computer without your consent. What UAC does is to monitor any suspicious behaviour on your computer which tries to alter settings. UAC will ask for permission or an administrator’s password before performing any action which will bring changes to your computer settings. The aim behind this operation is to prevent changes that can potentially affect computer’s operation. The feature also helps in preventing malicious programs such as spyware from automatically installing on your computer without proper authorization. It is a requirement that programs should install on a computer with full consent or knowledge of the user or owner.

Before installing a program, UAC will seek your permission to continue with the installation process so as to avoid affecting other users. This further goes down to give a genuine permission to a program that is not part of Windows such as one which is digitally signed. A digitally signed program is a program that gives name of its publisher and gives details of what it really claims to be. This avoids installing a program that is not genuine or legitimate. Such programs can harm your computer if allowed to install. Always make sure that it is really the program you want to install. Check for legitimate programs to install to avoid introducing unknown programs from taking control of your computer.

It is highly recommended that you carefully read all UAC messages. Avoid the habit of accepting programs to run on your computer without understanding the risks involved.

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