Tuesday: 08.November.2005

DropMyRights Drop My Rights

If you're like me, you probably find it limiting to operate Windows without full administrator privileges .. even tho security experts warn you should conduct normal PC operations from a user-account with limited privileges .. so hackers can't hack you as easily.

In the past, I have configured a non-admin account, but found I kept needing to switch to the admin account (a pain) to do many of the things I wanted .. then have to switch back again (another pain).

So, I eventually said, "Screw it," and began using the full admin account for normal use.

Well there's a nifty gizmo (made by Microsoft) which allows you to operate with full admin privileges, yet will dumb-down admin privileges on specific programs of your choosing.

continued

Specifically, you would want remove admin privileges from any program you use to connect to the Internet, such as your browser-of-choice, like Internet Explorer or Firefox, and your email client, such as Outlook Express.

The procedure is surprisingly simple, and takes only a few minutes to set-up for each program you want to run sans admin privileges. Once done, you never have to do anything else. You simply execute the new (non-admin) icon for each program, so it launches the proggie in a safer mode to connect to the 'Net.

The solution is a little app called DropMyRights. Everything is explained HERE. A few words of clarification:

You need to make sure the little "quotation marks" are around the target app. That was the only problem I had. Below are pathways to apps you might want to run with restricted rights. If you put a copy of the DropMyRights executable in a new folder named "dmr" on your C drive, you can simply copy-n-paste my shortcut targets (which makes it a little easier for you):

C:\dmr\DropMyRights.exe "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
C:\dmr\DropMyRights.exe "C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimn.exe"
C:\dmr\DropMyRights.exe "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"
C:\dmr\DropMyRights.exe "C:\Program Files\mozilla.org\Mozilla\mozilla.exe"
C:\dmr\DropMyRights.exe "C:\Program Files\Opera7\opera.exe"

I tried to use DMR with my FTP client (which I use to upload this page), but got an error. So you cannot use it with everything. But the important things are your browsers and email clients, cuz that's where the bad guys will be looking for you.

My only disappointment is that (with the exception of IE) I can't seem to locate the icons (*.ico) for the newly created shortcuts. Thanks to Mr. Pleo for shedding this light on security. He always comes up with cool stuff. Source thread here.

Okay, I should note here that DMR is *not* a substitute for operating your system from a user account with reduced rights. It merely provides a degree of security (marginal) for those of us who find it a hassle to operate our systems with anything other than full admin rights. Hope that clarifies things.

For more info here is a Google search pre-configured for the query DropMyRights Drop My Rights





Posted by Rad at November 8, 2005 09:38 AM

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