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If you've visited our AA 12-Step Rehabilitation Plan, you may recall the very first step says: "acknowledge a Higher Power, and that you're not it. Many people are using their computers day-to-day as if they're the Higher Power. They login as administrator and work all day and night in the admin account." It goes on to explain that when the majority of people bought their PCs, the salesperson set up an account for them, often without even asking if they wanted it to be an admin account. What does this mean? What's the big deal, anyway? The administrator account means that you can do anything to the Windows operating system, install or delete programs, set up and delete regular user accounts, etc.

"So why worry? Be happy!" - you might say. But what's the risk with this? Just think: if your only login to your PC is an admin account, then anyone who sits down at your computer can do absolutely anything: If they know what they're doing, they could install malware or copy your confidential financial or personal information. And even if they don't know what they're doing, they might accidentally erase all of your documents or even delete the Windows operating system. (Don't laugh, we know a fellow in Russia who, when he got his first computer as a young teenager, saw all those BIG files in a strange folder named "Windows" - so he deleted them "to save space on the hard drive," he said... and then he wondered why his PC wouldn't start when he turned it on!) What could be worse? Well, you could be connected to the Internet while you're logged in as admin, and a virus, trojan or other malware from the Internet could take over your whole computer. If that happens to the admin account, you're DEAD! (Your PC, that is.) About the only way to fix it is to restore Windows operating system.

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. - Einstein

What happens if you have to restore Windows operating system? Unless you've recently backed up all of your files in the "My Documents" folder, all your email, digital photos and music, and unless you have the setup files for all your programs and their installation keys... they may be history... gone forever. Only a complete bit-head CompuNerd like me might have a way to bypass Windows altogether and recover your personal files, but most PC "geeks" will simply restore Windows and tell you, "I'm sorry, but we had to wipe clean your hard drive to restore Windows, so all of your files are gone. Your computer service bill is $200!"

Last week I helped a client with this very same problem. Some kind of malware from the Internet had taken over her computer, popping up a "Security Warning" window that said her computer was infected with X number of viruses, Y number of trojans and Z number of other malware. It said - "Click Here for our program that will remove all these infections for only $29.95!" All she remembers is that a little popup had appeared beforehand, and then the "Security Warning" window began appearing. Every time she closed that program and tried to run another program, the "Security Warning" window would pop up again. (By the way, you don't even have to click on an "I Agree" button when a little popup appears - merely moving your mouse over the popup can activate the installation.) And as we stated above, if that happens when you're logged in as admin, the game's over.

Click on Online PC Support for worldwide PC service   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

Happily for my client, a few months earlier I had set up a separate regular user account for her. So last week I moved her "My Documents" folder, all of her digital photos and music folders to the "All Users" folder. Then I deleted her old, infected regular user account, rebooted her PC, recreated her regular user account and moved all her files to her new regular user folder. (She uses webmail, so I didn't need to worry about email on her hard drive.) The infection was gone! I did all of this using our Online PC Support system, without even having to travel to her place. And it cost less than half as much as wiping clean her hard drive and restoring Windows!

What's the moral of the story? If you only have an admin account, not a separate regular user account for your day-to-day work, go to our AA 12-Step Rehabilitation Plan webpage and follow the instructions in Step 1 now, before your computer gets infected. The instructions are quite complete and detailed, so an average computer user should be able to follow them. But if you need help, simply contact us - it'll cost even less than the repair job I did last week. Plus, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that your personal information on your PC is safer.

(And don't forget to backup your files! Bad things can happen to good people, besides malware infections: hard disks crash, computers get stolen or dropped - see our Offsite Backup Services webpage - so do it before these bad things happen.)

What are the "Top 10 WORST Internet Passwords"? See http://www.peopleforum.cn/redirect.php?tid=7787&goto=newpost for a good laugh!

And read "Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks" at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/03/AR2010020304057.html - what a delightful combination: the world's largest database of people's personal information in bed with the world's largest spy agency!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Yours truly,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

RobertD HoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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