Since forever, Microsoft has been shaky when it came to the level of security of their Windows OS. In fact, the only version that came with advanced security technologies and settings was their latest Windows 10. However, even though there are options for securing your system better, Windows 10 also has issues that the previous versions didn’t have.
The cloud-based services on Windows 10, such as the Microsoft account and OneDrive, do bring better functionality; however, they also cause more security liabilities. Windows 10 is indeed a new generation of operating systems but all the support for networking, messaging, and various multimedia create new security issues.
Luckily, Microsoft has included many security settings through which every user can reinforce the safety of the system.
Adjusting privacy settings
One of the most dangerous functionalities of Windows 10 is tracking. There are a couple of different features that connect your computer to Microsoft. Even though the chances the tech giant isn’t going to steal any information from you or hack your device, it can be unsettling to know that Microsoft knows when you are typing, what you are typing or what you are talking about.
The purpose of these features is to help improve the personalized experience that Cortana provides. You can disable all these features when installing Windows in the Customize Settings window. If you haven’t done that during the installation, you will have to open Settings and go to the Privacy section, where you have different settings for different categories. The best thing to do is to turn everything off as you won’t lose anything important.
If you open an app that needs to use some of these features, you will be asked to give permission, and you can turn on the functionality if you feel like it’s necessary.
Although, even after disabling these features your browsing activities might still be trackable. In that case, you could try a VPN that works well with Windows. It’ll encrypt all of your internet traffic coming in and out from your machine providing you with full online anonymity.
Turn on Windows Defender
A lot of people who’ve used Windows for a long time are used to not having an antivirus software that comes with the operating system by default. Because of this, many people disable Windows Defender on purpose or don’t even know that it exists. However, unlike previous Windows versions, Windows 10 has a built-in antivirus system. It’s not entirely reliable, but it gets the job done for the most part.
If you go to Settings and click on Update & Security, you will see the Windows Defender card below.
When you click on it, you will see three features:
- Real-time protection
- Cloud-based protection
- Automatic sample submission
Make sure that you enable all the features so that the defender can work its magic. It’s best not to install any other antivirus software, as the two of them will just be in constant conflict and confuse each other.
Turn on automatic updates
Make sure to enable automatic updates on Windows 10. In most cases, they are turned on by default, but you should check just to make sure. Go to the Start Menu and then write “Windows Update” to get to the updates settings. Once you’ve entered the Settings section, go to Advanced Options and look for the box that says “Automatic (recommended).” If it’s not set to automatic, switch it instantly.
At the same time, if you are using other Microsoft products, check the box beneath so that you get updates on all the software you are using. That is how your system and software will always be up-to-date, ensuring lower chances of getting hacked.
Avoid using a Microsoft account
A Microsoft account has its benefits, such as syncing your desktop to different devices and two-factor authentication, but there are also certain drawbacks. The biggest issue with this is the fact that someone at Microsoft will always know when you are using your computer and in what way.
At the same time, if your account gets stolen or hacked, you’ll be at high risk of someone logging on to your computer remotely. To stop worrying about these things, avoid using the Microsoft account and use a local one instead. Just type “account” and then go to “Manage your account.”
Then go on “Your email and accounts,” and then click on “Sign in with a local account instead” and change your account. You will get a warning from Microsoft telling you that you are doing something wrong, but it’s really the right thing to do.
These are just some settings that will further enhance your security and, most importantly, secure your privacy and personal data. Bear in mind that you also have to use your device responsibly, especially when browsing the web, to make sure that you don’t jeopardize your security.