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Things to Know About Mac OS X User Accounts

March 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 139

There are several types of user account categories in OS X. Each type of user account allows access to different levels of the system. There are also two main groups of users.

• Standard users are part of the staff group and can only change their own home folder and preferences. They can also access the contents of other users' Public and Sites folders.

• Administrative users are, naturally, members of the admin group. They have greater access to the system. Administrative users are not automatically granted access to protected file systems, but they have the ability to get past certain restrictions.

• Guest users are just that. They are like standard users in that they have a home folder and preferences, but their home content is erased every time they log out. They don't have a password and only have access to shared folders.

• Sharing users are even more restricted. They cannot login, do not possess home folders and can only see content of network Shared folders.

By default, Root users do not have passwords and cannot log in. This does not mean their freedom is restricted, though. A root user can access everything, including system software and hardware.

Mac OS X accounts have certain bits of information which define and identify user accounts. These are called attributes.

• User's full name

• MobileMe name

• User's account name, which can be a shortened version of the full name, or a nickname

• A numeric User ID

• Universally Unique or Universally Unique Generated ID (UUID or GUID), also a numeric sequence

• The Group ID, another numeric code, identifying a group devoted to that user

• User's Login shell

• The Home folder

Sometimes, it is necessary to limit a user's account for one reason or other. You do this by utilizing Parental Control preferences. You can specify the user have:

• Only basic Finder capabilities

• Reduced access to applications or widgets

• Limited capacity to access the Dock, Optical Drives, and Printers.

• Restricted ability to effect password changes

• No profanities in their Dictionary application

• Web filtering and narrow use of certain websites through Safari

• Only a certain address available for iChat and Mail

• Other usage limits that you specify

• Their iChat, Safari and Mail activity logged

Security is a concern on most computer systems, and it is important to understand the security risks posed by each type of user account.

• Standard users are prevented from effecting any changes to system software, so this type of account is pretty secure.

• The first type of user account set up during system installation is Administrative. An administrative user can do just about anything to the system. Administrative users can even make adjustments to other users' files and settings. They have the ability to introduce malware and activate a root user password and login.

• A Guest user could potentially activate malicious software or clog the hard drive using Drop Box folders.

• Like guests, Sharing users can muck up the hard drive through Drop Box folders.

• Root users have access to everything and can do pretty much anything, including causing damage to the whole file system.

For Mac & PC Support in London Call 020 7582 9999 or contact Mac Support London

Source: EzineArticles
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