As spyware and ransomware issues are constantly on the rise, it is imperative for users to remain vigilant to keep their pertinent data protected from all sorts of attackers.

With the continuous expansion of the landscape and scope of cybersecurity threats, Windows 10 security users must make themselves familiar with the different features integrated into the platform to ensure the protection of data.

Cyber Threats

Users have to deal with ransomware, phishing attacks, keyloggers, compromised accounts, worms, and spyware every single day. Since the landscape of threats users are facing today have become more diverse than ever, there cannot be a single feature or tool that you can enable and assume that you will be secure.

Before you embark on a comprehensive security plan, users have to identify the location of the data most valuable to the criminals then focus on that particular location.

Check out the following security features in Windows to help you stay protected from cyber attacks:

1. Windows Defender Application Guard

The Windows Defender Application Guard provides protection from targeted and advanced threats launched against the Microsoft Edge with the use of the Hyper-V virtualization technology of Microsoft. This functionality performs well with whitelisting.

The users have the ability to designate the sites they trust to be browsed freely. If a certain site is not labeled as trusted, Application Guard is going to open this inside a container and completely block access to local storage, memory, corporate network endpoints, other installed apps, or other resources the attacker might find interesting.

2. Windows Defender Smart Screen

Microsoft claims that the Windows Defender Smart Screen has the ability to block at first sight. This helps keep users protected if they try visiting websites reported in the past to contain malware or phishing and stop them from downloading these possibly malicious files.

This can even help in protecting against scam sites, drive-by attacks, and fake advertisements. It is among the multiple defense layers in malware and anti-phishing protection strategies.

Color photo of Windows logo on a brick wall - used to illustrate the popularity of Windows 10 and Security updates.
The latest Windows 10 operating system is now the most popular desktop OS in the world. | Photo credit: Pixabay
3. User Account Control

UAC or User Account Control protects users through preventing malware from damaging the machine. It helps users in deploying a better-managed desktop.

Once the feature has been enabled, tasks and apps will always run in security context of the non-administrator account except when the administrator has specifically authorized the system’s access on an administrator-level. This can even block automatic installation of the unauthorized applications as well as prevent any accidental change to the system settings.

4. Windows Defender Exploit Guard

The Windows Defender Exploit Guard includes reduction rules on the attack surface, exploit protection, controlled access to folders, and network protection. This also offers legacy application protection that includes blocking images of low integrity, arbitrary code guard, exporting address filtering, and blocking untrusted fonts.

It can help you manage, configure, and audit application exploit mitigations and Windows systems. This can also deliver a new class of capabilities to prevent intrusion.

5. Windows Defender Device Guard

The Windows Defender Device Guard involves application and driver whitelisting. This feature shifts from the mode wherein the apps are trusted except when blocked by antivirus solution to the mode wherein the operating system trusts only the user authorized applications. This works on two primary components.

The KMCI or kernel mode code integrity is the first one that protects the kernel mode drivers and processes from zero-day attacks as well as other vulnerabilities with the use of HVCI. The UMCI or user mode code integrity is the second one. This is a type of enterprise grade app whitelisting that can achieve PC lockdown for those that use only trusted apps.

6. Windows Defender Credential Guard

The Windows Defender Credential Guard makes use of virtualization-based security for isolating secrets. This is to ensure that they can only be accessed by the privileged system software to help protect from credential theft attacks. When this feature is enabled, it provides better protection and hardware security against those advanced and persistent threats.

7. Microsoft Bitlocker

Microsoft Bitlocker is a type of full-drive encryption solution that is a native offering in Windows 10 Enterprise and Professional. This helps in mitigating unauthorized data access through enhancing system and file protections, rendering data inaccessible once the computers have been recycled or decommissioned.

It is something very important because you surely don’t want to take on the blame if your boss’s device gets stolen and lost and all data there gets exposed online.

Color photo of a laptop with the onscreen inscription: Upgrading Windows - used to illustrate the meaning of new Windows updates.
Aside from the built-in security features of Windows 10, there are other tips you can keep in mind. | Photo credit: Pixabay
Tips to Further Strengthen Windows 10 Security

Aside from the built-in security features of Windows 10, there are other tips you can keep in mind to ensure that you will further strengthen its security.

– Avoid using a Microsoft account

Windows 10 by default will prompt you to create and use Microsoft account even when you just plan to use the local services of the operating system. As far as security is concerned, not using this Microsoft account helps you ensure that all your activities and information will remain completely local to your device.

– Limit accumulation of tracking data

On your privacy settings, hit the Start button, key in Settings then click on Privacy. This is the menu where you can modify the settings in relation to how your device uses information coming from your microphone, camera, actual location, as well as other similar information.

In the Privacy menu, you can click on the Feedback and Diagnostic button then change to Never the Feedback Frequency. It is recommended as well to use the basic setting for the Diagnostic and Usage dat. Once these settings have been put in place, you can significantly reduce the data amount that Microsoft gathers about your day to day activities.

– Be cautious with Cortana

Cortana is among the most interesting aspects of Windows 10 and possibly among the most intrusive as well. Since almost all data in Cortana gets stored in the cloud, this means that you can benefit if you reduce the amount of sent data.

At the end of the day, the best practice to keep your Windows 10 secure is to keep yourself educated to avoid any threats in the future.

Below is the YouTube video from EasyTechs where they talk about the safety measures on Windows 10 and how to make the best of them:

If you like our article and find it useful, please comment and share! Thanks for reading 🙂

Windows 10 Security News and Updates for 2019

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