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Windows 10 Security Essentials: Why Antivirus Software is Not Enough

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Having good antivirus software is only the beginning of your cybersecurity equation. But it is by no means the end. Hackers and cybercriminals are on the lookout for new ways to sneak past the radar. Thus, you should seek for extra measures to protect yourself. If you value your security, that is.

Hackers are looking for low hanging fruit

Crushing one’s security takes valuable resources. Whether it be time or money (or both), hackers try to take your defenses down by resorting to the absolute minimum effort necessary. Unless you’re a high-value/ranking/famous/rich/etc. individual, they will seek out an easier target once they’ve determined that you’re too tough to crack. 

Antivirus software tends to be reactive rather than proactive

This is another problem of relying on your antivirus software alone. Antivirus finds known threats, but it may not recognize brand new viruses or malware. So, if malware found its way into your system, the damage could have already been done. And only then antivirus may try to deal with the consequences. In other words, relying solely on your antivirus to do the job is reactive rather than a proactive approach to cybersecurity.

Security software for Windows 10

Antivirus should still find space on your Windows 10 computer. But there are other types of software you should also use for security reasons.

1. Firewall

Having a proper firewall in place shields your network from unwanted connections. There are more than plenty of choices for Windows 10, many of which won’t cost you a dime. Windows Defender Firewall comes by default. Whether you stay with it or end up choosing a different firewall, you cover an essential element of your security. A firewall monitors both incoming and outgoing connections. Only the trustworthy ones pass through its filtering.

You decide what goes through the filter. Spotted an incoming connection that’s not from one of the trusted vendors, employees, associates, etc.? Go ahead and add a rule to block it. Is a sketchy-sounding process trying to connect to the internet for obscure reasons? You never know, spyware may have a nest on your computer. It may try to steal your files and send them back to the attacker’s server. Google it first, and if you determine that something smells fishy, block it. 

2. VPN

Windows 10 does not come with a virtual private network (VPN) by default. But you should consider connecting through one whenever you’re doing any business online. That’s especially true if you’re fond of the free WiFi that some restaurants and coffee shops offer to their customers. Without a VPN, a third-party can intercept anything you send through the internet. Thus, establishing a connection without any second thoughts is asking for trouble. Reading the news is fine, but online banking, shopping (or similar) is a big no-no…at least without a VPN.

As an added benefit, using VPN protects you from would-be snoops and government surveillance. Some countries enforce a strict censorship policy and try to stifle free speech and control which websites you can visit. A VPN is their worst enemy. Since you connect to the world wide web through an intermediary, you can access whatever content you please.

3. File encryption software

Having a strong password to protect your accounts is not enough, either. With enough carelessness, data-stealing malware can still find its way in and wreak havoc on your system. Having file encryption software at your disposal can make a difference. 

Encryption solutions, for example, NordLocker, helps to protect the data that’s most precious to you. Think of encryption as an extra layer of protection. It’s so powerful that even if hackers steal your files, they are of no use to them. Also, if someone pries on your Windows 10 powered laptop, they will not access your most sensitive data. Not if you were smart enough to encrypt them, that is.

4. Security analyzer

Last but not least is the security analyzer, cybersecurity solution that ties it all together. The most obvious benefit of using it is being able to monitor your programs and discover whether any of them requires an update. 

Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer, to name one example, also alerts you of common security misconfigurations. But as far as the security updates work, it only works for Microsoft software, such as Microsoft Office. Since this is an advanced tool, it takes some time to study it. But if you use Windows 10, it’s worth it.

Conclusion

Windows is still the number one operating system in the world. That’s why hackers have taken an interest in Windows 10 users. And that won’t change anytime soon. It’s both your task and responsibility to apply all the cybersecurity measures and stay on the safe side.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Definitely agree with you that antivirus is not the only thing that is important for cybersecurity. I’ve been a user of vpn for some years, and recently I received an invitation to try their new tool Nordlocker. As I’m a freelancer, it really caught my attention since I have a lot of stuff that I need to keep safe. Works very well on my windows 10.

  2. Thank you Windows for making these articles available to us. I Gold Stared it into my favorites so I can refer to it from time to time.

  3. Always been really concerned about my privacy, which is why I don’t have many social media accounts. Although this is definitely not enough to protect your data, so I’ve been using Avast antivirus, Tor private browser, and Surfshark as a VPN. I change my passwords often, and I never save my login info anywhere. I know I probably sound a bit paranoid, I have nothing to hide, but just the thought of someone being able to access your photos, emails, chats is quite terrifying.

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