If you are using Vista you most likely have came across its User Access Control (UAC) system. Vista makes a bold attempt to make you login as a non-administrator on the local computer. This limits the damage illicit code like trojans and viruses can do but it requires you to escalate to administrator privileges as soon as you need to maintain your system.
Local maintenance should be rare but it happens and you will soon get used to having a message box popping up asking for the administrator password. This is all good… except… that messagebox is popping up all the time while you are installing your new Vista system. At least this is the case if you do as me and run as a limited user and not as the administrator user.
Lately I have noticed that I do not really pay attention to what the dialogs say when it’s asking me for administrator privileges. I just assume it is good.
UAC makes your system more secure but you also must stay alert and stay on top of any attacks that might find its way onto your system.
In a way I think this makes XP SP2 even more secure than Vista as it would require you to logon as administrator or select “run as…” for certain executables or it would fail. Vista almost always ask for the proper permissions to do something and many users might feel that if Vista asks for administrator permission they should submit administrator permission.
Vista is working really great but I see an issue with the request for admin rights as soon as a user try to do a for admins only operations.
Check the dialogs!