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Administrator or Standard: Which Windows account is safer?

Administrator or Standard: Which Windows account is safer?

Q. Hi, Kim. I'm setting up my own computer for the first time. My son usually sets it up for me, but I wanted to take it into my own hands for once. My computer says I have to set up something called an administrator account. How is this different from the standard account? Which one is better to use? Thanks!
-Ed, from Wilmington, DE, listens to my national radio show on WILM 1450 AM.

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A. Good for you, Ed. The best way to learn is by doing. If you need any additional help, I've got a great guide that walks you through setting up a PC. I wrote one for Mac users, too!

There are actually three different types of account you can set up on a Windows computer: administrator, standard and guest. The one you choose determines how much control you have over your computer's features, and how much security you have.

So, which one is best to use every day? The answer may surprise you.

I've found most people are using the wrong kind of account, which puts their computer in danger. Pass this tip on to friends and family so they can stay safe.

Let's start by defining what each account type does.

The administrator account is a password-protected account you have to set up before you can use your new computer. It gives you full control of Windows. You can change security settings, install programs and anything else you want to do.

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