Windows 10 User's Guide - Security Last updated: 10/02/18
Device-Based Security

Device security traditionally consists primarily in the use of a user account secured through a strong password. This method is available on any Windows 10 device from phone to desktop computer - in addition, Microsoft has added other forms of authentication in Windows 10:

  • A PIN - this is a Microsoft-generated feature new in Windows 10. See the PIN page on this site for more details.
  • Biometric identification via Windows Hello: Microsoft has incorporated an extended biometric-only form of log-in called Hello. It promises to enable you to log in without using a password - instead, you use fingerprint recognition, face recognition, or iris scanning. Click on this link to learn more about Windows Hello. You can also visit Microsoft's What Is Hello? page, or search the Web using "Windows Hello".
  • Security can be further enhanced through software techniques: hard-drive encryption, Bitlocker (available in Windows 10 for computers that support it), and password managers (which involves third-party software).
  • Physical Recovery: Windows 10 contains a built-in "locator beacon" that can be used to help locate a lost or stolen Windows 10 device. This feature is called Find My Device and is managed in Settings, Update & security. You can read more at the Update page in this help system .

  • Wi-Fi Security

    There are well-established practices that increase security while using wi-fi (as opposed to wireless) networking. They are listed on a Wi-Fi Security page for reference, with links to fuller discussion where needed.

    Anti-Malware Security Including Windows Security

    Windows 10 contains built-in defense mechanisms to protect devices against many forms of malware (commonly called "viruses"), including disruptive viruses, ransomware, exploitation attacks (co-opting your computer for use in a botnet), and other forms of attack.

    All editions of Windows 10 include Windows Security, which pulls together a number of these defense mechanisms and includes an app (the Windows Security app) which enables you to view and, to some extent, configure those mechanisms.

    (Windows Security is the latest name for this app - it was previously known as the Windows 10 Security Center and, prior to that, as Windows Defender. Windows Defender grew out of an application first introduced in Windows XP.)

    Windows Security uses a number of different techniques to maintain robust protection against the ever-evolving threats present on the Internet:

  • a library of malware "fingerprints" that is updated on an almost daily basis
  • SmartScreen, a set of technologies to warn you of potentially malicious sites and software
  • A firewall guarding entry to your device
  • Built in "exploit protection" technologies
  • Family Options - configuration settings that help parents monitor and control the on-line activities of their children, contributing to the on-line safety of all in the family.
  • You can read more about Windows Security and the Windows Security app by clicking on this link.