Tips for Windows 10 Security

Posted by Rob Schnetzer on Fri, Nov, 08, 2019 @ 14:11 PM

Since 2015 Windows security has been solid, Microsoft as a whole has been proactive when it comes to fixing things staying ahead of the curve when it comes to security.

 But can Windows 10 be made more secure? Yes it can, and here's how.

Tips for Windows Security

Change your Privacy Options:

A big proactive way to make your personal data safer AND limit what Microsoft can harvest from your computer is to change your Privacy Options. We’ve covered this one in the More Tips for Windows video so if you haven’t seen it be sure to watch that one too.

Using a Standard Account

When logging in for everyday use, use a Standard Account instead of an Administrator Account. This is a great way to exercise the idea of Least Privilege on your own computer.

If you practice this you’ll be less of a target if you accidently leave your computer unlocked and have to step away, and if your log-on credentials are phished a hacker has less opportunity to make detrimental changes to your computer.

Turn on Windows Defender/Firewall and User Account Control

Windows Defender has been around since XP and has improved as years have gone by. It can act as your only antivirus, though we suggest running a third-party antivirus is probably a better way to go

Here’s how to enable it.

  • Go to your Search bar
  • Type Windows Security
  • Go to Virus and threat Protection and enable virus scan program, these options will allow you to setup scan times, frequency what’s being scanned and additional protections against ransomware, and updates to your virus definitions.

Windows Firewall

A firewall filters any traffic coming into the computer from outside sources preventing someone from sending malicious files to your computer without you being alerted. Without a firewall policing your network ports it would be similar to trying to make it through a crowded Dallas intersection without traffic lights. Your firewall on windows is a last-ditch effort by your computer to protect itself from the local network and the internet. This much like Windows Defender works better when you have it enabled with a firewall like one normally found in a router. To enable it go back to Windows Security and go to Firewall and Network Protection. Enable the options for Domain network Private Network and Public Network. From here you can also manage the programs that might need access through your firewall such as virus scanners.

Windows User Account Control

UAC prevents unauthorized changes to your operating systems or critical programs needed to run Windows. I am the first to admit the constant nagging asking for permissions can get old at times, but its better to have it turned on and be aware of what changes are taking place to your computer, then let a malicious program run rip shod over your entire system making changes that are harmful to your operating system and your data.

To enable it,

Go to Control Panel

  • System and Security
  • find the UAC option under Security from here you can change how often it notifies you from never to constantly.

Update Update Update.

 Security patches and the monthly patch Tuesday sometimes sends people into a tailspin. Yes it’s a hassle to have to up date Windows regularly. But several quality of life improvements have made it easier as long as you’ve taken the time to set them up. You can now schedule updates, Schedule computer restarts and  delay updates (Although we don’t recommend that for a lengthy period of time)Historically Microsoft has had hiccups with their updates on certain systems. But they do get fixed, and when necessary their rollout is delayed. But even with the hiccups its better to have a security update in place with bugs than to expose your computer a known exploit.

BitLocker Encryption (Only available on Windows 10 Pro)

If you regularly use a laptop, and want to lock it down so that if you decide to sell it or gift it, or if the worst happens someone steals it, the data on your device cannot be used without your permission you’ll want to look into Bitlocker.

But before you enable this here’s a quick warning, When enabling Bitlocker you will need to keep up with your encryption key and keep it safe and secure. If you lose it and need to recover your computer there is absolutely no way to unlock it on your own.

To enable it

  • Select start-
  • Search
  • And then control panel from control panel
  • Go to System and security ---Bitlocker Drive Encryption. And enable the program to encrypt your hard drive. And once again make sure you keep your Bitlocker encryption key safe and secure somewhere.

Topics: Windows 10, Cybersecurity