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User Account Control (UAC) is a technology and security infrastructure introduced with Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. It aims to improve the security of Microsoft Windows by limiting application software to standard user privileges until an administrator authorizes an increase in privilege level. In this way, only applications that the user trusts receive higher privileges, and malware should be kept from receiving the privileges necessary to compromise the operating system. In other words, a user account may have administrator privileges assigned to it, but applications that the user runs do not also have those privileges unless they are approved beforehand or the user explicitly authorizes it to have higher privileges.
To reduce the possibility of lower-privilege applications communicating with higher-privilege ones, another new technology, User Interface Privilege Isolation is used in conjunction with User Account Control to isolate these processes from each other. One prominent use of this is Internet Explorer 7's "Protected Mode".