Having security programs installed is essential to be protected and not suffer cyber attacks. Among all the options that are available, Windows Defender can be said to be the most common on computers with Microsoft systems. Now, do we use it correctly? In this article we are going to give a series of guidelines to use it as well as possible and that security is protected at all times.
- Tips for using Windows Defender well
- Protect Windows beyond Microsoft Defender
Tips for using Windows Defender well
We can say that Windows Defender is not an antivirus like many others that are available. In other words, yes, it will act to detect and eliminate malware, but it goes beyond that. It is a very complete tool that is integrated into the security of the operating system and here we can also include account protection or application control, for example.
The first and basic thing to be able to use Windows Defender correctly is that it is correctly updated . It is useless to have an antivirus, whatever it is, obsolete and without the latest versions available. It is a process that is carried out automatically, but it is worth checking that it is really up to date.
To do this you have to go to Start, enter Windows Security and click on Virus and threat protection . There you will see the Virus & Threat Protection Updates feature. Simply click on Protection Updates and you will see the security intelligence version as well as the last time it was updated.
You can manually click the Check for updates button. It will automatically start looking for possible new versions. However, unless there has been an error, it is something that will be done periodically.
This point is very important, since a bad configuration could leave your computer unprotected. What you are going to do is configure different protection sections of Windows Defender to prevent the entry of malware. This is going to be key to always maintain security.
You have to go to Start and enter Windows Security. Once there you have to click on Antivirus and threat protection. There you will find different settings that you should always have enabled. If they are not, you simply have to check the corresponding box.
You need to make sure you have the following enabled:
- Real-time protection
- Cloud based protection
- Against alterations
Turn on core isolation
One feature that is disabled by default is kernel isolation . It is very useful to have it enabled for maximum protection. This is an option to provide an additional barrier against malware and other cyber attacks. What it does is isolate the processes from the operating system and the device.
To activate it you have to go to Start, enter Windows Security, click on Device Security and select Core Isolation. Click and you will see a box as shown in the image below. You simply enable this feature and it will be available from then on.
We can say that a large part of computer attacks come through malicious applications . For example, a program that you download from an insecure site, software that has been modified to steal data, etc. For this reason, it is especially important to be protected against any application that you install.
This feature is also disabled by default. To enable it you have to go to the Windows Defender settings and access Application and browser control. Once there you simply have to click Activate. From then on, Microsoft antivirus will protect against potentially unwanted applications, files, and web pages.
Activate Windows Firewall
Microsoft Defender is not just a conventional antivirus and one of the reasons is because it also has a built-in firewall . This is very useful to protect the system from unwanted access through the network. It can help prevent computer attacks, allows you to block applications from accessing the Internet, etc.
To activate it you have to go to the Windows Defender settings and this time you enter Firewall and network protection. You will see three options: domain network, private network, and public network. It is interesting that the firewall is activated in all of them. You can click on each of them and activate or deactivate this function.
There is no doubt that ransomware is one of the most important security threats that we can find on the network. It is a type of malware that aims to encrypt our files and systems and request a financial ransom in return to be able to access them again.
Windows Defender has a feature that helps improve protection against ransomware. However, folder access control is disabled by default. You can turn it on by going to Windows Security, Virus & Threat Protection and going to Ransomware Protection and enabling the feature.
Protect Windows beyond Microsoft Defender
You should keep in mind that using Microsoft Defender is very important for security, but that in itself does not guarantee being completely protected. It is essential to take certain measures and apply some tips to minimize the risk of suffering some type of attack. Therefore, after having correctly configured the Windows antivirus, we also want to give some more security recommendations .
upgrade the team
Something essential and that cannot be missing is having Windows correctly updated. This will prevent vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. In fact, many types of viruses and malware generally affect it due to security flaws that are not corrected, so we can reduce the risk a lot.
To update Windows you have to go to Start, enter Settings and access Windows Update . It will automatically show you possible files pending update. It is something that you should do periodically, to always have the latest versions available.
Use only safe apps
Another important issue is to only use programs that are reliable and safe . You should download them from official sites and avoid doing so from third-party pages or through links that may be scams and contain malware that infects your computer. Hackers can sneak apps that appear legitimate but are actually scams.
You should also apply this when installing any add-on. For example extensions for the browser or for any application that you have installed in Windows. Regardless of whether or not you have Microsoft Defender installed, you can make the mistake of installing a fake program and you should avoid that.
Protect your network and other devices
Windows Defender is going to focus on protecting the security of your system. However, you may have problems with the network you connect to or with any other device that you are going to connect to the computer, such as a USB memory. Therefore, it is essential that you maintain security in all cases.
You must protect your Wi-Fi network and thus prevent intruders from affecting performance and security. Always use a good key for the wireless network, a good current encryption (avoid the obsolete ones, such as WEP or WPA and use WPA-2 or WPA-3) and also a good password to enter the configuration of the router.
But in addition, the same protection that you use for the computer must be applied to any other device. Protect storage memories, mobile devices, printers… All of this can affect, in one way or another, the security of Windows.
Avoid making mistakes
But if there is something essential to be protected and not have problems, it is to avoid mistakes and maintain common sense . We can say that most cyber attacks will require the victim to fall into some kind of trap and that affects security. Hackers can launch baits for this purpose and can steal data, passwords or cause malfunctions.
A very common mistake is to download files that arrive by email without knowing if they are really reliable or not. This is a fairly common entry route for malware. It’s also a mistake to log into unprotected public Wi-Fi networks or trust sites that may be fraud.
In short, as you have seen Windows Defender is a key piece to maintain your security. We have explained how you can configure it correctly to maximize protection. However, you have also been able to see that it is not enough just to have an antivirus and that you will have to avoid certain errors and optimize security.