In Windows 8 and 8.1, software can sometimes change a PC’s settings. Such changes usually aren’t malicious or criminal in nature. Plenty of programs have legitimate reasons to modify a computer. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and malicious programs do compromise a computer by changing certain settings. Microsoft included software to protect users from these instances in the form of User Account Control.
Here’s an overview of UAC, including what it is and how to toggle it on or off:
What is User Account Control?
UAC is an alert system that helps protect users from malicious programs and software. When administrator-level permission is necessary for changes, the system alerts the user. Before those changes are executed, UAC requires users to read the warning messages and approve the changes. Only then are changes made, unless the user rejects the changes. This security tool is quite effective at protecting a Windows 8 system.
Choosing When Notifications Are Given
In User Account Control settings, an individual can control when the program produces alerts. The default option presents users with notifications as apps attempt to make changes to a PC. Never Notify Me blocks notifications from appearing, and all changes will be allowed in real time. On the other hand, Always Notify Me is the strictest setting. Whether administrator-level changes are being made or Windows settings are being modified, notifications will let the user know.
Turning UAC On or Off
By default, UAC is enabled at the mid-level, so users receive notifications as system changes are made. Users can effectively enable and disable User Account Control whenever they so desire. This change can be made in the settings for UAC within seconds. To turn off UAC, an individual must select the Never Notify Me option. User Account Control stops functioning because notifications won’t stop changes from being made. Enabling any other option will turn UAC back on again.
UAC: An Important Tool For All Users
Basic and advanced users of Windows 8 and 8.1 can benefit from User Account Control. Most people don’t realize when changes are being made to their systems. However, changes that require administrator-level permissions can wreak havoc on a computer if initiated by malicious code. A user can’t hope to know when such changes are made without enabling User Account Control. The basic notification option, enabled by default, is sufficient to protect users from malicious software today.