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User Account Types

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What Is a User Account?

A user account is an identity created for a person in a computer or computing system. User accounts can also be created for machine entities, such as service accounts for running programs, system accounts for storing system files and processes, and root and administrator accounts for system administration.

These are all a type of privileged account which is a user account that has more privileges than a normal user account. Other examples include database accounts, service accounts, root accounts, administrator accounts, and system accounts.

Interactive Account - a Standard User Account

The normal user account for a person is also called an interactive account or a standard user account. Such users can usually be used to log in using a password and can be used for running programs on the computer.

Non-User Account

The term non-user account is sometimes used for referring to all user accounts that are not standard user accounts.

Privileged Account Management

Privileged accounts, and particularly root and administrator accounts, grant high level privileges on computers. They can be used to surreptiously steal information, modify important data, change system configuration, and hide one's actions. They may also be used for installing and removing software and upgrading the operating system. Monitoring privileged accounts is thus very important for preventing cybercrime by employees and for detecting malware.

Privileged access management is a technology for controlling and monitoring access to privileged accounts.