Data Execution Prevention (DEP)

Before you start

Objectives: Learn what is DEP and why it is used.

Prerequisites: no prerequisites.

Key terms: DEP, Windows, Data Execution Prevention


 Data Execution Prevention

DEP helps prevent damage to our computer from viruses and other security threats. Certain malware can attack our operating system by executing programs from computer memory that is only reserved for the operating system. Those locations are also reserved for certain authorized programs as well. DEP helps to protect our computer by monitoring programs and ensuring that they use computer memory safely. If DEP detects a program on our computer that attempts to use memory incorectly, it closes the program and notifies us. We can manage DEP in the Data Execution Protection tab within the Performance Option properties of the Advanced system settings. We can choose if we want to turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services, or to turn on DEP for all programs and services, except those that we specify in the exception list. It is enabled by default for essential Windows programs and services.

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