Windows 10 has barely stayed a year and most people are yet to upgrade their computers to Windows 10, but for those who have, I’ll give you in this post, a guide to secure your computer running on the Windows 10 OS. Among all Windows series, Windows 10 has proven to be the most secured as it possesses a lot of security features that can help your computer stay out of viruses and malware infections.
Did I just tell you that Windows 10 is secured? Yes it is, yet there is need also for additional security. By the way, I won’t be telling you any security measure involving a third-party program, all we are going to talk about in this tutorial is based on the right settings on your Windows 10.
Let’s kick off to the main reason you are here. Below are some necessary settings which every Windows 10 user must adjust on their computers.
Windows 10 Privacy Settings
Once you launch a Windows 10 device, you should be aware that Windows 10 comes with some settings on your computer that keeps you connected to them Microsoft, so they are able to access your computer. This is been caused by Cortana, so whenever I launch a new Win 10 device, I quickly turn off all the tracking features that Microsoft includes in Windows 10.
It is easier to fix this once you install Windows 10, as you can quickly click Customize and you’ll be allowed to disable everything all at once. For Old users, to do it at one click, you’ll have to reset your computer or reinstall Windows. If you think that’s way too much for you, you can do it manually.
Enable Automatic Updates
By default the Windows 10 is automatic update enabled, but it’s no bad idea to check if your device is automatic update enabled.
To check if your device is automatic update enabled, simple click on Start, type in Windows Update, then click on Windows Update settings.
Before we go out of the automatic update feature, make sure you check the Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows. If you have Microsoft Office installed in your device, then it’s a must to check this as all Office-related security and feature updates too will be installed.
Enable Windows Defender
Automatic sample submission.
Enable Windows Firewall
The firewall allows you control the communication of your computer with other devices on the network. It’s true that the setting is optimized by default, as all outbound communication is allowed to pass through the firewall.
If you notice a green shields with check marks on your screen, you are good to go as your firewall is on. Otherwise, click on Turn Windows Firewall on or off to enable it. Now quickly click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall to choose the programs which you want to have free access through the firewall.
Hope you noticed the Private and Public column, its better and safer you uncheck the Public column on most programs. You can make a research from Google on which programs to be choose.
Note, Items that has “Remote” in the name such as Remote Assistance, Remote Desktop, etc should be unchecked. Except you connect to your computer remotely, then it won’t be a bad idea to uncheck both the Private and Public columns for all of these programs.
Advanced Sharing Settings
The Advance Sharing Setting is essential if you use Windows 10. While you are in the Network and Sharing Center, Scroll down to the Advanced Sharing Settings. For maximum security, choose the below settings. But you can make adjustments if need be.
- Turn off network discovery (Do this only if you never access other devices on your network using this PC)
- Turn off file and printer sharing
- Allow Windows to manage Home Group connections
Guest or Public
- Turn off network discovery
- Turn off file and printer sharing
- Turn off public folder sharing
- Turn off media streaming (enable only when you need to stream content from the PC to a device)
- Use 128-bit encryption for file sharing connections
- Turn on password protected sharing
User Account Control (UAC)
Some people still complain of the inconvenience they get from the UAC, how frustrated they feel when they get passkey prompt all the time. The passkey prompt doesn’t occur often and I think it’s worth the security of your computer.
How to get this fixed, click on Start, type in UAC, then click on Change User Account Control Settings. The option selected by default should be Notify me only when apps try to make changes to my computer, it’s not a bad idea using that, but if you can bear the inconvenience, I advise you select Always notify.
This is one way that has help optimize my Windows 10 device to the fullest.
Use a Local Account
Microsoft advises that we use our Microsoft accounts on our computers, but how safe is it? What if your Microsoft account gets hacked? It means the hacker can manipulate your computer from a distance. Aside that, I won’t want Microsoft to take records of when I login to my computer or any information at all.
Select Sign in with a local account instead link, then follow the steps as it’s self-explanatory. Microsoft will issue you some warning message, just ignore it, your computer will be safe.
Use a Lock Screen
Select Screen timeout settings now you are in control, choose the value you’ll be convenient with. Take note of the apps you allow on the lock screen, because others will be able to access them without having access to the computer.
Secure Boot & UEFI
It’s advisable to enable secure boot and UEFI instead of legacy BIOS. To get this done, you’ll have to access your BIOS. You can google search for how to access your BIOS, then make these settings enabled.
Some computers do not have option for secure boot. Note that if you switch from LEGACY+UEFI to just UEFI and have issues with your computer where it refuses to boot, quickly go back into the BIOS and reverse the settings.
Disable Flash and Java
Flash and Java are threats to every computer. Recently websites have dumped them for html5 as most used browsers now support it.
From my desk, I’ll advise you disable flash and Java, and use your computer just normal. Let me give you a quick guide to fixing this on internet explorer and Google Chrome, and you can use the idea to find your way on other browsers.
Under Show, select All add-ons, then right-click on Shockwave Flash Object and select Disable.
To eliminate Java, quickly go to Control Panel, Programs and Features, here, you’ll uninstall any Java version that is installed on your computer. You are done with that.
With the above point outs, your computer should be alright, but you should also try not to visit wrong websites, I advise you use Google Chrome as you’ll be notified whenever you try to access a malicious site or try to download something harmful to your computer.
Are there places you got stuck on this tutorial, please do let us know using the comment, and we’ll be glad to get back to you.