Securing Windows 10 devices

We don’t mean to be scaremongers, but they are out to get you. Computer attacks continue to increase in number and severity each year. And while the big data breaches—the loss of millions of credit card numbers from a major retailer or the loss of millions of personnel records from the U.S. government—command the most media attention, don’t think that the bad guys wouldn’t like to get into your computer too. Whether it’s to steal your valuable personal data, appropriate your computing resources and bandwidth, or use your PC as a pathway into a bigger target with whom you do business, there are plenty of actors with bad intent.

According to the 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, published by Symantec, 60 percent of all targeted attacks struck small and medium-sized organizations. Like individuals, these organizations often don’t have the resources to invest in security—making them juicy targets.

In this chapter from Windows 10 Inside Out, by Ed Bott, Carl Siechert, and Craig Stinson, we examine the types of threats you’re likely to face at home and at work. More importantly, we describe some of the more significant security improvements made in Windows 10—many of which are in layers you can’t see, such as hardware-based protection that operates before Windows loads. Then we explain how to use the more visible security features, including Windows Firewall, User Account Control, BitLocker, and Windows Defender.

Topics in this chapter:

  • Understanding security threats
  • What’s new in Windows 10
  • Monitoring your computer’s security
  • Staying on top of security updates
  • Blocking intruders with Windows Firewall
  • Preventing unsafe actions with User Account Control
  • Encrypting information
  • Using Windows Defender to block malware
  • Stopping unknown or malicious programs with SmartScreen

Read the complete chapter here.

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