Microsoft designed Windows Defender to protect its operating system from malware attacks. But the application doesn’t leave an icon, so many users don’t even know it exists.
This underrated malware defense system can help protect your device from malicious activity. Most importantly, it is simple and easy to use. And, since it is built-in the Windows operating system, it won’t cost you a penny!
Why Use the Windows Defender
The primary reason why you should use the Windows Defender is the additional security it provides. Besides, the program is built into your system for free, so it won’t harm you to use it when it’s already there.
And let’s face it, you can’t afford to miss out on an extra layer of security with the growing number of cyberattacks in the world.
Statistics show that 30,000 systems are hacked every day. Sure, Windows Defender is not powerful enough to turn your device into a bulletproof fortress. But it is a good source of protection that tracks malicious activity and recognizes potential malware threats.
Besides, Microsoft invests in Windows Defender each year. The software has grown to outperform even some of the most popular third-party security solutions.
How to Enable the Windows Defender
Windows Defender software doesn’t have an actual icon. So you will have to access its settings through the Local Group Policy editor to enable on-protection.
Step 1: Find the search box in the Windows taskbar and type “gpedit.”
Step 2: The search results will include the best match called “edit group policy.” Click on this search result to launch the Local Group Policy editor.
Step 3: Head over to the left side of the editor and select the following locations: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender Antivirus.
Step 4: Adjust the policy settings on the left side of the Windows Defender Antivirus and click “enable.”
Make sure to enable all settings in the policy table to keep the Defender running at all times. Take a look at Microsoft’s instructions to allow extra features such as real-time malware protection.
Get the Most Out of Its Features
Just because the Windows Defender comes built into the system, it doesn’t mean it’s going to run on its own. You have to follow the instructions above to enable the software and get the most out of its features. Speaking of which, the Windows Defender offers a variety of functions:
- automatic and on-demand system scanning for malware detection,
- blocking of suspicious links,
- a simple firewall for online safety.
Moreover, Windows Defender offers parental control features. They allow parents to filter the websites their child can access or limit their time online. You can also use this software to monitor many devices from a central computer. It can come in handy if you have more family members.
Microsoft has recently updated the Defender. They added anti-ransomware protection to secure files, folders, and some areas of RAM.
Windows Defender Doesn’t Cover Everything
Your Windows device indeed comes with built-in malware protection. But it’s still not wholly protected without a few extra security layers on top of it. Windows Defender does offer convenient scanning and detection features. But it won’t hurt to invest in other cybersecurity solutions.
Consider subscribing to a VPN service to protect personal data online. What is a VPN, you may ask (https://nordvpn.com/what-is-a-vpn/) ? A virtual private network encrypts incoming and outgoing internet connection. This way, it keeps data private from third-parties. Keep in mind that a virtual private network won’t only encrypt your private data. It can also help you bypass geo-restrictions and access unavailable content in your region.
Also, get yourself a password manager. No antivirus or VPN solution can protect you from brute-force or credential stuffing attacks. That’s on you and your ability to create robust passwords and your willpower to never reuse them.
Better Late Than Ever
If you didn’t know that your device had a built-in defender system, no one is blaming you! After all, the Windows Defender is not hiding in plain sight. Make sure to access the Local Group Policy Editor to locate the system and enable all its features. Remember, the program won’t run unless you enable its real-time protection settings.
Luckily, this software is easy to use. And, since it’s already pre-installed on your device, you won’t have to spend time downloading and installing anything. Instead, invest your time to find other security solutions such as password manager and VPN to protect your data everywhere.