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Friday, June 9, 2023

Security in Windows: 4 Settings You Should Change Right Now to Protect Your PC

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Security in Windows – Windows PCs come equipped with several security protections by default. However, this is not enough to keep your device safe from the non-stop onslaught of new malware, ransomware, adware and every other type of cyber attack out there.

Security in Windows

Fortunately, Microsoft includes a variety of additional security settings in Windows 10/11 that you can enable at any time to boost your computer’s defenses .

Microsoft offers many ways to let your PC proactively scan for threats and let you control how much personal data you want to share. Most of these options are disabled for a smoother experience.

But your Windows PC, for example, by default can warn you if you’re about to install software with a bad reputation, and even isolate your computer’s most vulnerable components from being tampered with. Here’s how to enable these features and improve the security of your Windows PC .

Automatically block suspicious apps and websites

Security in Windows
Security in Windows

The most malicious websites/applications are the ones that don’t look threatening – however, once you start using them, they can harm your PC.

For example, using your machine’s computing resources to secretly mine cryptocurrency, launching a barrage of unexpected pop-up ads, or worse, deploying rogue software like ransomware .

A good way to protect your PC is to use a free VPN service . To start using this extra barrier of protection that encrypts your data when surfing online, just choose the service option that best suits your needs and install it.

In addition to using a VPN, to enable Windows native reputation-based protection, go to ‘Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Application & Browser Control’ and click the ‘Enable’ button under the section heading ‘Protection reputation-based” .

Isolate the most sensitive parts of your computer

Security in Windows
Security in Windows

Attackers target the most vulnerable modules on your PC to attack it. A common and effective method of doing this is to inject malicious code into basic drivers such as webcams.

Once a website tricks you into running these programs, it can easily take control of your device and data. Windows 10/11 can defend against these attempts by isolating key building blocks of your computer, like memory.

When this option is in effect, the drivers will have to check themselves to access the high level processes, and as soon as the software fails, the operating system will block it.

To enable the setting go to ‘Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Device Security > Core Isolation Details’ and enable the ‘Memory Integrity’ option .

Prevent advertisers from tracking you

Security in Windows
Security in Windows

Windows allows apps to show ads relevant to your interests with a unique identification code.

Every time you interact with an ad or when an app determines what you like, an advertiser uses that code to create a dossier about you and follow you around the Internet and other programs.

What’s worse, although this code is limited to your Windows PC, advertisers are notorious for identifying your activities across multiple devices, like your smartphone, and linking all of your various advertising codes together to keep tabs no matter what. you use.

Fortunately, Windows allows you to easily remove this advertising ID. When you do this, your ads will become generic and will no longer be personalized.

To do this go to Settings > Privacy and security > General’ and disable “Allow apps to show me personalized ads using my Advertising ID” .

Additionally, you should also consider disabling “Allow sites to show me locally relevant content by accessing my language list” , which lets companies know what languages ​​you know and potentially where you are located.

Review app permissions

Security in Windows
Security in Windows

Last but not least, when you set up a new app, you typically grant it some permissions to, say, use your device’s webcam for video calls or track your location to send you weather alerts.

However, many apps continue to misuse your background access to secretly collect your data and track your activities. So unless you’re actively using an app, it’s best to revoke its permissions and only return them when you need them.

You can do this by going to Settings > Privacy & Security’ and scrolling down to the ‘App Permissions’ section . Choose a permission like location, and inside, disable the toggle next to an app to prevent them from accessing it.

You can also toggle the main switch to stop all apps from reading your location, contacts or any other type of data.

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