As we know, Windows is the most used operating system out there which means that it is the first priority for all the hackers who write malware and other harmful viruses that not only damage your operating system but also becomes a threat to your critical information stored on your PCs or laptops. So, in this article, I will walk you through some of the important steps that are used to secure Windows 10.
So let’s start with the step-wise guide.
1. Keep your Windows updated
With every Window update, it is inevitable that it opens up new security threat issue but Windows also works hard to secure your Windows from the potential threats. So for that, you have to keep your Windows updated to secure Windows from day to day cyber threats.
Go to Settings from the Start menu by clicking on the Windows icon on the taskbar. Now from the Windows Settings click on the Update & Security option as highlighted above.
Under Update & Security navigation pane, open up Windows Update option as highlighted above. Now make sure the Windows update is set to automatic as shown above.
For Windows update, you can also download Windows 10 Update Assistant
Search for Windows 10 Update Assistant or click on the link above that will direct you to the Windows Support page of Windows 10 Update Assistant as shown above. Now from the page click on the Windows 10 software download website link as highlighted above.
From Download Windows 10 page, you can see the latest windows update with an Update now button as shown above. Now click on the Update now button to download the latest file of Windows 10 update Assistant.
Now run the downloaded file as shown above and click Yes on the Warning message.
When Windows 10 update Assistant opens up it will show you that your windows will upgrade from running version to the new version. Simply click on the Update Now button as shown above.
Now, wait till your Windows download and install updates successfully it will then ask for a restart, restart your PC to apply changes.
After the successful installation process, you will see the message from Windows 10 Update Assistant as shown above.
2. Encrypt Your Data using BitLocker
From Windows search, type in BitLocker as shown above and click on the Manage BitLocker option under Best match as highlighted above.
Each drive connected with your laptop or PC can be protected from any unauthorized access with the help of BitLocker. Simply click on the Turn on BitLocker link as highlighted above and follow the instructions to make your drive encrypted.
3. Use Microsoft account as a local account
Go to settings and click on the Accounts option as shown above.
In Accounts settings, Your info or Your email and accounts (in older version), click on Sign in with a local account Instead. This will ask you your Microsoft credentials, follow the instruction to set up and run a local account.
4. Set System Restore Point
Creating a Restore Point in Windows 10 will help you to retrieve and recover the state in which your windows was working perfectly. So it is essential to create a system restore point of your Windows each time before you are going to install a third party software or doing anything that you feel might harm your PC.
To know how to set system restore point just follow the article below which will walk you through each step.
5. Enable Windows Defender Security
From Windows Settings go to Update & security option as highlighted above.
Click on the Windows Security option under Update & Security navigation pane as shown above. Now Under Windows Security click on the Open Windows Defender Security Center button as highlighted above.
From Home menu, click on the Virus & threat protection option as shown above.
Now make sure each of the toggle buttons is turned On for Virus & threat protection as highlighted above.
6. Enable Windows Firewall
From Home Menu click on the Firewall & network protection option as shown above.
Now make sure each network has its firewall protection turned On as shown above, if not then click on the particular network to enter its settings and under Windows Defender Firewall, turn on the toggle button, now do it for each network.
7. Clean up malware from computer
If you’re using Google Chrome then you can use it’s Clean up Computer tool which will help you to remove unwanted and harmful software installed on your PC.
From Google Chrome click on the overflow menu as shown above.
From settings scroll all the way down till you find Advanced button as highlighted above. Click on the Advanced button to expand the Advanced Settings.
Now scroll all the way down till you find Clean up Computer under Reset and clean up settings. Click on the Clean up computer option as shown above.
In Clean up computer option, click on the Find button as highlighted above to find and remove harmful software. This will find harmful software and list down them for you, you can then simply click on the Remove button which is against each listed software to uninstall the software from your PC.
8. Remove Unnecessary Software
You can remove unnecessary third-party software which might become the source of spyware and other security threat to your PC.
From Windows Settings click on Apps option as shown above.
Now under Apps navigation menu, click on the Apps & features option. Under Apps & features, you can see the list on installed software on your PC. Scroll down till you find any unwanted software that you think can be harmful to your PC.
Simply just click on the particular App and then click on the Uninstall button as highlighted above.
9. Turn off Ad tracking
If you have turned On Ad tracking on your Windows then it means that you have allowed your windows to track your browsing history and every other thing you’re doing online which can be a privacy concern.
From Windows search, Type in Privacy settings as shown above, now click on the Privacy settings listed under Best match as highlighted above.
From the General tab, turn off‘ let apps use advertising ID option as highlighted above. This will disable the interest-based advertising.
Also from your web browser disable the Microsoft advertising page settings from any browser, log-in to your Microsoft account when asked.
After clicking on the link you’ll be directed to the Privacy dashboard of your Microsoft account as shown above.
Scroll down, under other privacy settings, click on the Advertising preferences Ad settings as highlighted above.
Now in Ad settings, turn off See ads that interest you toggle button as shown above.
10. Turn off Location
From Windows Settings, Click to open Privacy Settings as shown above.
In Privacy navigation pane, under App permission (Windows 10 1803 version), click on Location option as shown above. Now make sure that your Location service toggle button is turned off as shown above.
11. Manage Cortana
Form Windows Settings, click on the Cortana settings as shown above.
Make sure you have turned off each toggle button of Talk to Cortana option, most of all make sure Lock screen toggle button is turned off as highlighted above.
In Permissions & History, make sure you have turned off Windows Cloud search and History of My device as shown above. After turning off each toggle, click on the clear my device history button as highlighted above.
12. Run offline Scan
Finally, after applying all the steps above to secure your Windows 10, you should now run an offline scan from Windows Defender Advanced scans.
From Windows settings click on Update & security option as shown above.
From Update & security navigation pane, select Windows Security option as highlighted above. Now, click on the Open Windows Defender Security Center button as shown above.
Now click on the Virus & threat protection option from the navigation pane as highlighted above, now click on the Run a new advanced scan link as shown above.
From Advanced scans, select the Windows Defender Offline scan radio button as shown above and then click on the Scan now button to start the scan which will restart your PC and will take about 15 minutes to scan and remove malicious software and threats that are difficult to remove while online.
That’s it! Hope these steps will help you secure Windows 10 from malicious and unwanted threats that harm your PC and steals critical data.