Standard user e-mail safety

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  1. Posts : 1,113
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       #1

    Standard user e-mail safety


    I volunteer at our senior citizen organization and we have a Win10 computer available for members and visitors. The other day I had to remove umpteen emails in the Mail app on the start screen by one person.
    In order to use the computer, they log in using a standard account. No one is allowed to create an administrator account.
    Although it isn't a fix, I uninstalled the Mail app from Start since most of the users aren't likely to find out how to get it back in Start or use it themselves.
    All users use their own email accounts: that one person had been using both the Mail app in Start along with her Google & Yahoo email accounts.
    Fortunately her attempts to download some software have failed since she is working from the standard account.
    The manager asked me whether or not the computer could get infected if someone opened a dangerous link in their email account or the Mail app: I responded it shouldn't happen since nothing should be able to download from a standard account: but I'll research it so we'll be comfortable on a realistic expectation. One of my concerns is that it could be possible but highly unlikely. So I'd appreciate your advice.
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  2. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,152
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #2

    Hi, start by reckoning anything bad can happen. From disk failure to ransomware.

    1. Use disk imaging routinely (Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot disk + external storage for disk image sets).
    This means you can recover Windows, data partitions, disks...
    - if your PC is unbootable
    - if Windows is corrupt and cannot be 'fixed'
    - if someone downloads a virus/trojan/rootkit

    quite quickly and without technical help - without clean installing Windows.

    2. Use a decent antivirus program. (You can compare options using the AV comparatives site,
    AV-Comparatives Independent Tests of Anti-Virus Software - AV-Comparatives
    or simply run with Windows Defender).

    3. You can apply restrictions.
    - block access to programs. There are 3rd party programs that help here.
    How to Block (or Allow) Certain Applications for Users in Windows
    -stop people installing programs
    How to Block Users from Installing Software on Your Windows Computer
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  3. simrick's Avatar
    Posts : 15,923
    W10Prox64
       #3

    MeAndMyComputer said:
    I volunteer at our senior citizen organization and we have a Win10 computer available for members and visitors. The other day I had to remove umpteen emails in the Mail app on the start screen by one person.
    In order to use the computer, they log in using a standard account. No one is allowed to create an administrator account.
    Although it isn't a fix, I uninstalled the Mail app from Start since most of the users aren't likely to find out how to get it back in Start or use it themselves.
    All users use their own email accounts: that one person had been using both the Mail app in Start along with her Google & Yahoo email accounts.
    Fortunately her attempts to download some software have failed since she is working from the standard account.
    The manager asked me whether or not the computer could get infected if someone opened a dangerous link in their email account or the Mail app: I responded it shouldn't happen since nothing should be able to download from a standard account: but I'll research it so we'll be comfortable on a realistic expectation. One of my concerns is that it could be possible but highly unlikely. So I'd appreciate your advice.
    Using a standard account as opposed to an admin account is the smart thing to do. However, that does not make you impervious to infections. So, the answer is, yes, if someone clicks on a malicious link in an email, damage could be done to the system (although it should be less damage than if you were in an admin account). Dalchina's recommendation of imaging is a must.
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  4. Posts : 1,113
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Thanks dalchina & simrick too.
    I'm a system image backup person who uses MRF on my computer and I will certainly submit that to the manager.
    --- Actually I've been wanting to do that all along: now that concerns are being brought up, maybe, just maybe it will finally ne approved.
    I wasn't aware of being able to apply restrictions and those are excellent recommendations: I can't wait to apply what I find out.
    EDIT: I do have a monthly security & maintenance plan I maintain to ensure the computer is safe & secure and well maintained. Actually that's how I found out what I mentioned in my opening post. But that's also the reason I want to have the computer in what I would describe as "stealth" mode.
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  5. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,152
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #5

    It used to be possible to have a computer restart each day in the same state- that is all changes were discarded. (Comodo Time Machine and MS's Steady State if I recall). I'm not aware of a current product that does that, but that might be a good approach in principle. However, even if such were available, there may not be funds, and it might not be the best use.

    I experienced this in a Chinese English dept, where I needed a driver on the classroom PC, and found next class it wasn't there.. but that was some years ago.
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  6. Posts : 1,113
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #6

    dalchina said:
    It used to be possible to have a computer restart each day in the same state- that is all changes were discarded..
    I think like that as well as your opening sentence in post #2
    Fortunately it's easy enough to keep the computer safe, secure & well maintained, not because I'm an expert, but because I stay on top of what's happening. Unfortunately having attempted to implement a system image & data backup system hadn't been approved but with this latest discovery it gives me clout to bring it back up. Thanks again for a good pointer.
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  7. Borg 386's Avatar
    Posts : 25,289
    Win 7 32, Win 7 64 Pro, Win 8.1 64 Pro, Win 10 64 Education Edition
       #7

    Make them aware that a lot of scams nowadays involve getting E mails supposedly from Amazon (shipment cancelled, click on this link for details) or FedEx (Your package has been shipped, click here for details).

    I've gotten a few of these in the past month & a google search of the link addy shows the site to be hijacked/infected/dangerous.
      My Computer

  8. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 24,152
    Win 10 Pro (1903)
       #8

    - and what to look for that indicates it's NOT from them (similar but garbled email addresses, not using their name, spelling mistakes, asking for personal details....)

    Older people are more credulous - not used to scammers, liars and cheaters approaching them directly.

    (Yes, it used to be a different world... I know!)
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  9. Posts : 1,113
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Could a VPN be helpful in security purposes?
    If so I'll post in an appropriate forum for help and recommendations.
      My Computer

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,113
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    You could solve most of your issues simply by removing the standard account your users are using at the moment and creating a limited Guest account for them instead.



    Video from Ten Forums video thread.
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