An account provides protection for computers and websites. It usually consists of a username and password. The security of the account depends on these two components. Careful selection and handling are therefore essential.
Even when setting up a computer, care must be taken to separate the rights structure. Typically two different account types exist:
Administrator Accounts: These have complete rights, for example for settings of the operating system, installation of software or the creation and modification of user accounts.
Simple user accounts: These have only limited rights, but enough to perform everyday tasks.
If malicious software is detected, it has the same rights as the account used. Therefore, the use of a simple user account is recommended for everyday use. For extended activities, the operating system may require increased rights at short notice. When programs are installed, the account data of an administrator account is queried and only used for this action.
The following points must be observed for a secure use of the accounts:
Lock when leaving: When you leave the computer, lock it. You can only access it again by entering the password. On Windows operating systems, for example, you can lock the computer by simultaneously pressing the Windows + L key.
Log off: When leaving the computer or a web page, it is advisable to always log off or switch off the computer beforehand. Websites that you are currently logged on to always provide a link called “Logout”. A simple closing of the website is not enough.
Unobserved entry of account data or at least the password: Access data that others also know is no longer protected.
When using public computers (e.g. in the school or library, in the café, at the train station or airport etc.), additional caution is required, as data may remain on the computer which can then be accessed by others. The following points should be observed:
Never save login data: Browsers provide the ability to store credentials or passwords for quick reuse. This option should never be used on public computers. This is because credentials are stored on the computer and can therefore be adopted by others.
Eliminate traces: If you call up web pages in the browser, this is saved in the browser history. Before you log off and leave the computer, you should delete this data. This is usually possible in the settings or under History. Alternatively, you can use the incognito or private mode, if the browser supports it.
Caution with wireless networks: Passwords entered can be intercepted and read on wireless networks. Logins and sensitive data should therefore only be entered for encrypted connections. Depending on the browser, these can be identified by the lock symbol, the green colored background or the word “Secure” next to the address line. A further indication for an encrypted connection is that the called web page in the address line begins with https:// instead of http://.