Installing Windows 10 on your device or buying a new one with this operating system will give you the sense of getting a new toy. You want to explore as much as possible what you OS can do and customize it to fit your needs perfectly. This is the best time to handle your device’s security as well and make sure from the very beginning that every aspect of it protected and accounted for.
There are steps that you can take to make your Windows 10 more protected that don’t require spending a lot of money to security software. We will share with you 5 simple, but effective tips to protect your Windows 10 and enjoy it safely.
1. Tweak Your Privacy Settings
One of the first things you should when you’ve logged into your new computer is to see where exactly you stand when it comes to your Privacy Settings. The usual scenario is that everything will be set in the way that Microsoft finds it most convenient, but that doesn’t have to coincide with your security needs one bit.
There are a number of things that you can do to improve your security right then and there. First, if you want to be on the safe side, you should deal with location tracking. You will see that there are apps that have permission to access your location and if you don’t want them to keep tabs on you, simply disable those permissions. In fact, it would probably be a wise decision to get rid of location tracking completely, so that no one can easily find out where you currently are. Unless your messages, contacts and calendar are connected with your Microsoft account, there’s no need for any apps to have access to your private information either. Also, camera and microphone access is something that should be strictly limited, though you can only do this when it comes to apps, rules don’t apply when it comes to system programs, but it is still a step forward toward better security.
2. Manage Wi-Fi Sense Carefully
Here’s an option made to help us share our wireless connections more easily with anyone we want. Naturally, there are people who will take full advantage of it, even when it means endangering your security. The beauty of AWi-Fi Sense is that enables other people to use your bandwidth, but they don’t get full access to your network either. This feature also makes it much easier for you to connect to some other network quickly. However, a word of caution is necessary here, because public Wi-Fi can cause serious security troubles due to the fact that it is full of malware lurking to infect your device. Use VPN to keep your system safe from any unexpected cyber-attacks that can happen whenever you’re using public Wi-Fi.
3. Keep Cortana at Bay
One of the main improvements of Windows 10 is the new digital assistant Cortana that does come in handy once in a while. However, its usefulness falls short when we take into account the amount of personal information it has access to and that is a lot. Unless you’ve got a dire need of a digital assistant, disable Cortana completely, because the information it gathers are a serious risk that you don’t have to take. We recommend doing this as soon as possible, because all the data that Cortana processes are very quickly uploaded to a cloud which can’t be erased. If you’ve explored Cortana’s abilities, then you know that it also keeps extensive record of your interests and preferences and you would do well to edit and erase this section as well, because you never know what kind of personal information hackers could use to get into your device and wreak havoc.
4. Do a Clean Reinstall
If you’ve just bought a new laptop or a mobile device and you’ve already got Windows 10 installed on it, then you probably think your work is done. While your device will work just fine, chances are that it will be filled with all forms of unnecessary software you’ll never use and it will slow down your computer. There’s also the fact that this junkware can affect poorly your device’s performance and the best way to deal with it is to get rid of it all. Do a clean reinstall of Windows 10 to get a completely clean slate with your new device and not worry that there might a hidden program somewhere in your computer that is endangering your security.
5. Lock Down Your Device
Whenever you’re away from your device, it should be safe and protected just as much as when you are using it. Enable the option to lock your screen whenever you’re planning to leave your computer or phone unattended, so that no one can just use it as they please. If you want to be extra safe, set up passwords to protect your OS from anyone trying to physically install malware on your device.
Windows 10 comes with a great deal of new exciting perks and you should freely explore each and every one of them. Just remember that the security of your operating system should always be your main priority and you can protect it very well by following these five tips, as well as investing some time to constantly learn about new ways to improve your security.
Thomas Milva is 28 and has been in an Information Security Analyst for over four years. He loves his job, but he also loves spending his time in nature, because he’s working from home, which sometimes means not getting enough fresh air. He also regularly writes for wefollowtech.com, where he often comments on the latest web trends in his articles. Thomas currently lives in Baton Rouge with his dog, two fish and his girlfriend.