In any operating system, including Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview, user accounts play important role when it comes to security of data and as well as the entire operating system. A user account with unwanted additional privileges can make the computer system vulnerable to the risks of data loss, hacking, unauthorized access to sensitive information, system crashes, etc. In order to prevent computers from the above mentioned risks, administrators and home users create new user accounts with limited and restricted privileges so that the users must be granted with only the privileges that they need. This concept is technically known as ‘Principle of Least Privilege’.
Best Practices while Creating User Accounts
The very first user account that an operating system has is the one with highest privileges on the computer. In Windows platform, this user account is by default created during the installation of the operating system and is named as ‘Administrator’. In Windows Vista and above operating systems (which also includes Microsoft Windows 8), the built-in Administrator account is by default disabled and the installation process of the operating system allows to create a new user account, right after Windows has been installed and before the installation process finalizes. This user account automatically becomes the member of ‘Administrators’ group and therefore it has unrestricted privileges on the entire computer. User Account Control restrictions become applicable on this manually created user account.
In order to prevent the computer from unauthorized access and protect it from the vulnerabilities, it is recommended that administrators and home users must create new user accounts with limited privileges in case the computer has to be shared with multiple users. When a new user account is created, by default it is added to Users group, which gives the accounts limited privileges on the computer. This type of user account is technically known as ‘Standard User Account’ and is safe to use as it is very unlikely that the user who uses this account to log on to the computer would harm the operating system by any means. This is because of the limited privileges that are granted to the standard user account as the default configuration of the OS.
Creating a New User Account
New user account creation process is a bit different in Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview. Since no ‘Start’ button is displayed in the taskbar any more, as it was the case with previous versions of Windows, users must hover mouse pointers over to ‘Aero Peek’ button to gain access to the Control Panel and other areas of the operating system. In order to create a new user account in Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview, steps given below must be followed:
- Log on to Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview computer.
- On the displayed Metro UI interface of the Start window, click Desktop icon.
- Once on the desktop screen, hover mouse to Aero Peek button at the bottom right corner of the window, next to the clock, and from the displayed options, click to select Settings.
- From the bottom of the sidebar that appears, click Change PC settings and on the opened PC Settings window, click to select Users from the left section.
- From the right section, under Other users category click Add a user.
- On the opened Add User window, populate Name, Password, Reenter password and Password hint fields with appropriate values and click Next.
- On the window that appears, click Finish button to finalize the account creation process. Optionally Is this a child’s account? Turn on Family Safety to get reports of their PC use checkbox can be checked to generate the reports of the PC usage automatically.