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How to Set Up Security in Windows 10

Rick Akura

It’s important to keep your computer safe. Being exposed to virtual threats could result in serious consequences such as identity theft, breach of privacy, and even data loss. In this article, we explore how you can use Windows 10’s built-in features to secure your device against all kinds of attacks.

 

We’ve already discussed how you can Get Started With Windows 10 and how to Manage User Accounts in Windows 10. It’s time to protect your system. Luckily, Windows 10 introduces innovative and accessible features to ensure you stay out of harm’s way. It’s better to prevent a hacker attack or a virus entering your device. 

 

User Account Control 


User Account Control

The User Account Control (UAC for short) interface comes into the picture when you’re using an application that attempts to make changes on your computer. Many malicious software aims to exploit the ability to do this and attempt to create holes in your security by modifying your settings. UAC makes sure this doesn’t happen.

 

Whenever an application tries to change your computer’s settings, UAC will temporarily lock your screen until an administrator confirms the action. This gives you a moment to review the details of the software and potentially do research before allowing it to make modifications to your system.

 

Here’s how to turn on the User Account Control in Windows 10 and configure it to your liking. 

 

  1. Press the Windows and S keys to bring up the search bar, or simply start typing in your taskbar search area. (If you can’t see the search field, right-click the Start button and choose Search.)
  2. Type User Account Control in the search field.
  3. Click on Change User Account Control settings from the search results.
    Change user account control settings
  4. To turn UAC on, drag the slider up to the level of security you desire on your device, then click OK.
  5. To turn UAC off, drag the slider all the way down to Never notify and click OK. (Not recommended).
  6. If prompted, confirm your selection by entering an administrator password.
  7. Restart your computer for the change to take effect. 

 

Windows Defender 

 

Windows Defender is Windows 10’s native solution against malware and other malicious threats. It’s essentially a built-in antivirus to keep you safe when browsing the internet, downloading or receiving files. It’s capable of conducting regular scans on your device, looking through your data, and finding even hidden malware or potentially malicious applications.

 

Unlike many third-party antivirus solutions, Windows Defender protects you in real-time without slowing down your device. Here’s how you can turn it on and start securing your computer. 

 

  1. Click on the Start menu in your taskbar. This icon has the Windows 10 logo on it. If you’re not familiar with the Windows 10 interface, we recommend reading the Get Started with Windows 10 article on our website.
  2. Select the Settings icon, indicated by a gear. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to reach this application quicker.
    Windows Start
  3. Click on the Update & Security tile.
    Windows settings Window
  4. Switch to the Windows Security tab, then click on the Open Windows Security button.
    Open Windows Security
  5. Manage your settings by clicking on any of the tiles here. After making changes, make sure to reboot your computer to finalize the process.  

 

Windows Firewall 

 

The firewall focuses on protecting your internet connection and your network. Here’s how you can turn it on and secure your device against another layer of attacks. 

  1. Press the Windows and S keys to bring up the search bar, or simply start typing in your taskbar search area. (If you can’t see the search field, right-click the Start button and choose Search.)
  2. Type Control Panel in the search field. Once the interface opens, make sure to change your viewing mode to either Large icons or Small icons.
    Wondows Control Panel
  3. Click on Windows Defender Firewall. In the new window, click on the Turn Windows Firewall on and off-link in the left-side panel. If prompted, confirm your selection by entering an administrator password.
    Windows Defender Firewall
  4. Make sure to select Turn on Windows Defender Firewall for both Private network settings and Public network settings. When done, click the OK button.

 

Windows SmartScreen 

 

If your computer detects any suspicious activity when opening a file or application, you’ll see the Windows SmartScreen freeze activity on your device. This state goes on until you either cancel or approve the action. In most cases, you should always cancel the opening of a potentially malicious file unless you’re able to verify that it won’t harm your device.

 

Here’s how you can turn Windows SmartScreen on when using Windows 10. 

 

  1. Click on the Start menu in your taskbar.
  2. Select the Settings icon, indicated by a gear. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to reach this application quicker.
    Start Windows
  3. Use the search field and type in SmartScreen. Here, click on App & browser control to quickly open the appropriate page in the Windows Security application.
    Windows SmartScreen
  4. Toggle all SmartScreen related settings to either Block, Warn, or On depending on what your preference is.
    Toggle Windows SmartSceen
  5. Reboot your device to finalize the changes.

How to Maintain Windows 10

 Here's how you can maintain your Windows OS.

1. By Updating Windows 

Updating your operating system is one of the best ways to ensure you’re left with no security holes. Here’s how to update Windows 10 to the latest available version.

  1. Click on the Start menu or press the Windows key on your keyboard, then choose Settings. This application has an icon shaped like a gear.
    • Alternatively, use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut for quicker access to the Settings app.
      Windows Start Menu
  2. You should see a variety of tiles appear on the screen, all leading to different configuration centers for your device. Here, click on the Update & Security tile.
  3. Switch to the Windows Update tab using the left-side pane.
  4. Click on the Check for updates button. This feature requires you to have an active connection to the internet, so Windows 10 can detect any new versions available for you to download.
    Windows Update
  5. If an update is found and you’re eligible for the download, click on the Install button. Now, you just need to wait for Windows 10 to download and apply the update, which may take an extended period of time.
    • Make sure that during the update you don’t end your connection to the internet, plug your device out, or manually turn off your device. All of these actions run a high risk of disrupting the update process and may lead to system corruption and data loss.
  6. Once your computer finishes updating, you should be on the latest version of Windows 10 currently available to you. 

 

2. By creating Backups 

 

Creating a system backup can potentially save your data even if your device is infected by malware or is under attack by a hacker. Here’s how to set up backups on Windows 10.

  1. Click on the Start menu in your taskbar.
  2. Select the Settings icon, indicated by a gear. Alternatively, you can use the Windows + I keyboard shortcut to reach this application quicker.
    Windows Start Menu
  3. Click on the Update & Security tile.
    Update and Security
  4. Switch to the Backup tab. To start backing up, click on the + Add drive button and select which local drive you want to use for storing backups. Follow all on-screen instructions to start backing up the desired data.
    Windows Backup

Final thoughts 

 

We hope that this guide was able to show you everything you need to know about managing user accounts in Windows 10. If you ever need further assistance, our customer service is happy to guide you through any issues you might have.

 

Do you want to learn more about the Windows 10 operating system? We recommend proceeding with our Install and Uninstall Applications in Windows 10 article or backtrack to our main Windows 10 tutorials page to find your next lesson.

 

If you’re looking for more guides or want to read more tech-related articles, consider subscribing to our newsletter. We regularly publish tutorials, news articles, and guides to help you.

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