Windows 10 is a much more secure system than its predecessors. However, like all defenses, they are effective as long as they are used and configured properly. Here is all you need to know to optimize the security of the operating system.
Windows 10’s defenses are overshadowing the paid-for suites, which now need to find more than just PC anti-malware defense to stand out and provide protections for mobiles, for example, by offering centralized management consoles to better defend the family.
However, like all defenses, these are effective as long as they are used well, are well parameterized and adopt behaviors that are not totally unconscious. Here’s all you need to know to optimize the security of Windows 10 and your data .
< Antivirus: which is the best security suite?
How to correctly configure Windows Defender?
Windows Defender is the antivirus (more precisely the anti-malware) integrated as standard in the system. Certainly limited in its defense against targeted attacks or adware, it is very reactive and effective against threats widely spread on the Internet, whether they be viruses, Trojans, spywares, rescues and other malicious bugs.
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Remember to configure it for maximum efficiency: go to Windows Configuration ([Windows]+[I]), select Update & Security , open the tab Windows Security and then click on Virus & Threat Protection and finally Manage Settings . Check that The real-time protection is activated (unless you already have another antivirus, in which case go to the next step). Then enable ” Cloud Protection ” to improve responsiveness. You can enable automatic sample submission as well as tamper protection .
You will also want to activate the Rescue Protection: always on the page Protection against viruses and threats , open Manage Rescue Protection , and then activate the option. You can then define the protected folders and allow or disallow applications.
How to configure Windows Defender with another antivirus?
Do you think your Internet use is too advanced and too “exploratory” to be satisfied with Windows Defender? You prefer to use a familiar security suite ( Kaspersky , Norton , BitDefender , Eset , Trend Micro , GData . ..) to benefit from their extended protections or rely more on a free antivirus like Avast or Avira ? It doesn’t matter. However, Windows 10 since its anniversary update allows you to keep Windows Defender as a second scanner, a way to get a second view on the security of your computer.
In practice: go to Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), select Update & Security , open the tab Windows Security then click on Virus & Threat Protection and finally Windows Defender Antivirus Options . Move the “Periodic Scanning” slider to On . Some antivirus programs do not recommend enabling the “Periodic Scanning” mode, but you can override it.
How is a complete analysis done at the beginning?
Some malware (rootkits) can be particularly difficult to detect and remove. If in doubt, you can request a full scan at system startup.
Go to Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), select Update & Security , open the tab Windows Security and then click on Virus & Threat Protection and finally Scan Options below Current Threats . Then select Scan Offline Windows Defender and finally click on Scan Now. Your PC will reboot and perform a full scan.
Windows Update is essential for your security A well protected system is above all a well maintained system. Windows Update is a fundamental shield. Some users disable it, fearing that an insufficiently tested update will disrupt the system. If Microsoft has got used to the fact, the publisher now benefits from millions of Windows Insiders to clean up the plaster moulds. Consequently, it becomes much more risky not to activate Windows Update than to activate it.
Go to Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), select Update and Security , open the tab Windows Update . Click on Advanced Options . Check ” Receive Updates from Other Microsoft Products “. Windows Update only updates system and Microsoft products. For third party software and extensions, get a free tool such as Heimdal Free from Heimdal Security, Update Checker or SUMo. How do I protect my applications and browser with SmartScreen?
SmartScreen is one of the most fundamental protections of Windows 10. This feature simply prohibits the execution of a program unknown to Microsoft’s Cloud and therefore necessarily dubious and potentially dangerous. Not running any questionable program is probably the best way to avoid most malware. <“Columns-2 are cut. Go to Windows Configuration ([Windows]+[I]), select Update & Security , open the tab Windows Security and click on Application & Browser Control .
Verify that the various options ( Check applications and files , Smartscreen for Microsoft Edgeet SmartScreen for Microsoft Store applications ) are set to Warn or Deny. How can I strengthen my Microsoft profile? Contrary to popular belief, using a Microsoft account to identify yourself to the user is a more secure approach to security. Above all, the option provides undeniable convenience when surfing the Internet, when using multiple PCs (your environment follows you from machine to machine) or when you have to reinstall a PC from scratch.
Therefore, this Microsoft profile becomes a hot spot and it is essential to protect it vigorously. Adopt a password of at least 8 characters and allow double authentication to use your smartphone as a confirmation tool for all risky transactions. Go to account.microsoft.com , login, select Security & Privacy , then choose Additional Security Settings . Click Add Security Information , and enter the phone number to which Microsoft will send the security information by SMS as soon as a sensitive transaction is detected on the account.
How do I activate the two-step check? To fully protect your Microsoft account, remember to activate “two-step verification”: go to account.microsoft.com , authenticate yourself, select Security & Privacy , and then choose “Activate two-step verification”. Once enabled, select Configure the identity verification application . Then choose the device you will use for two-step authentication. Download Microsoft Authenticator to your Smartphone and then flash the barcode displayed on your PC.
How do I create the image codes and passwords? If you are using a Microsoft login, you do not need to enter the extended password associated with it to access the PC. A simple PIN code is sufficient to effectively protect access to the PC. On tablets and touch screen PCs, replace the PIN code with the more user-friendly image code. To enable a PIN or IMAGE code: Call Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), go to Account and open the tab Login Options .
Click on Image Password Add , and enter your Microsoft account password and follow the wizard. If this access by PIN or IMAGE code seems too basic to guarantee the security of the PC, the other alternative to passwords is called Windows Hello. See the next step. How to configure Windows Hello? If you want to increase access to your PC without having to go through the tedious process of entering your password, opt for biometric recognition ” Windows Hello “.
This recognition is used to authenticate at PC login, but also in the Windows store and in many applications and sites. With Windows Hello, no more passwords! If your PC is not equipped with an iris or fingerprint sensor, you can find biometric sensors compatible with Windows Hello for less than 30 euros. Call Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), go to Account and open the ” Access Options ” tab. If a biometric sensor is present, you will see a “Windows Hello” section.
Then click on Add and follow the wizard. How do I add a second administrator account? Most rescue programs and malware only infect the active user profile. Therefore, it is advisable to always add a second backup account in case you encounter a problem. Simply restart Windows using this backup account and you can run an antivirus scan or use tools such as Autoruns, Malwarebytes or Sysinternals to repair the infected profile. Call Windows Settings ([Windows]+[I]), go to Account , open the tab Family and other users .
In the section Other users , click on Add another user on this PC , click on ” I don’t have the login details for this person “. Click on ” Add a user without a Microsoft account “. Enter ” Rescue ” as a name and enter a password that you won’t forget. Once the account is added, select it and then click on Change Account Type .
Choose Administrator . Validate with OK . Download from the Windows Store This is a good practice to which users are gradually becoming accustomed. Instead of searching the Internet to find the tool you need, which can lead you to a fake site very often, look in Windows Store.