A user account can be considered personal data that is gathered and stored so it can communicate with the operating system regarding what files and folders can be accessed, what applications can be installed, what system changes can be made and what personal preferences are to be displayed. These personal preference can include desktop icons, wallpaper backgrounds and color schemes and sounds that apply to a user etc. The basic purpose is to allow several people to share a computer while each person maintains their own files and settings secured with a user name and password.
There are three different account types: Administrator, Standard and Guest. Each account gives the user a certain level of freedom over the computer system. The administrator account is granted the most control and is usually assigned only when necessary. The standard account is granted access to perform the common everyday tasks. The guest account is primarily assigned to users who you want to grant only limited access to the computer where system changes are not allowed.
An Administrator Account is a user account that is granted the most control of the computer system. Administrators can install both software and hardware, change system security settings, and access all files on the computer. Administrators can also make changes to other user accounts. For instance, an administrator can add additional users and can even delete existing users.
When you first install Windows Vista, you will be required to create a user account and also assign a password if you like. This account will be automatically configured as an administrator account so you are allowed to set up your computer and install any software programs that you would like to use. Once you have finished setting up your system, it is recommended that you create a standard user account to use for your daily computing as it is more secure than an administrator account.
Standard User Account
A Standard User Account is a user account that allows you to use most of the programs that are installed on the computer system. However, permission from an administrator is required if you want to make changes that either affect the security setting of the computer or affect other users.
You also can not install or uninstall both software and hardware, delete files that are required for the operating system to function and you can not change system settings that affect other users. If you are using a standard user account, some software programs might require you to provide an administrator password before you can perform certain tasks.
Essentially, the Standard User Account helps protect your computer as it prevents users from making changes that affect all those who use the computer and prevents them from making system security changes. That is why it is recommended for you to create a standard user account for each computer user. Once again, with a standard user account, you can do anything that an administrator account can do, but if you want to make changes that affect other users or change security settings, Windows may ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.
A Guest Account is a user account that you can enable for users who do not have a permanent account on your computer or domain. It allows people to use your computer without having access to any of your personal files. This can be useful if you want to quickly allow someone to use your computer to show a slide show presentation to your office personnel. By allowing that person to log on using the guest account, he or she can not install software or hardware, change system settings, or create a password. You have to turn the guest account on before it can be used.