Don’t Run as Administrator on Your Mac

 Fri Oct 23, 2020, last updated Thu Mar 24, 2022 -  Jim Deibele

One of the first things that I do on a Macintosh is to create a new user (say “admin”), give it administrative privileges, and then reboot. I log in as admin and lower my own privileges to an ordinary user.

Why? Because there were a series of exploits relying on quietly doing things requiring administrator access. You’d download a game and never notice during the install process that it was accessing things it wasn’t supposed to. Things like your passwords stored in your browser, access to your camera, etc.

Each new version of MacOS gets more secure. When running as an ordinary user, your Mac will pop open a box that requires you to give an adminstrator name and password. It does this when installing a new program, copying a program update over an older version, etc. Not stuff that you’re doing every minute.