Windows Fortification: Top 10 Key Security Practices for Users

To ensure your Windows 10 PC is well-protected against cyber threats, it’s crucial to optimize its security settings. By leveraging built-in features like Windows Defender, Microsoft SmartScreen, and Windows Sandbox, you can harden your device and safeguard your organization from unauthorized access, malware, ransomware, and privilege escalation. Businesses can benefit from the numerous useful features Windows 10 offers, but it’s essential to balance convenience with security.

If you delve deeper into the question of how to secure Windows from hackers, it quickly becomes obvious that Windows features alone will not be enough. It makes the most sense to combine security features in Windows and additional security tools.

Top Windows Security Practices

#1 Update Regularly

To safeguard your computer from hackers, it is crucial to regularly update Windows and all your software. Updates primarily consist of bug fixes and security patches that prevent hackers from exploiting vulnerabilities in your operating system and software. The likelihood of software vulnerabilities increases as its size grows, making it easier for hackers to exploit.

#2 Use a VPN

Among the VPN features, there are many useful things for PC security. The most important function is data encryption, which eliminates the possibility of data theft. One of the functions is a kill switch, which terminates an insecure, direct connection to the site. There is also a double VPN, although not all services have it. An excellent service is VeePN with double VPN, which passes traffic through 2 servers. This ensures that VeePN does not allow attackers to get to your device or data. It will be impossible to even simply establish your current location.

#3 Activate Windows Defender Exploit Guard

Microsoft Windows Defender Exploit Guard is an anti-malware application that safeguards Windows 10 users from intrusion attempts. It is a component of the Windows Defender Security Center and works effectively to protect your computer from various types of attacks. For instance, it provides memory protection measures to counteract attacks that manipulate internal memory. It incorporates other methods to prevent intrusion such as reducing application attack surfaces, blocking malware from accessing folders, and safeguarding networks against malware.

#4 Click cautiously

The most crucial advice we have is not related to settings but rather concerns your behavior. You can greatly protect your information by being able to recognize phishing attempts and adopting a skeptical attitude towards downloads, more so than any other recommendation we provide here.

If you come across a suspicious-looking message – whether it’s a text, email, social media message, or any other form – avoid clicking any links, especially if you are unfamiliar with the sender. Such messages are frequently phishing attempts designed to deceive you into disclosing personal information, such as credit card numbers or passwords.

#5 Shut Down Stalkerware

To safeguard your privacy, you can disable the automatic location tracking and behavioral monitoring features in Windows 10. These features do not guarantee that the system will not collect data, but they allow you to opt out of many of them. It is reasonable to supplement this security measure with the help of a Chrome VPN extension, but there are also versions for other browsers. Here’s how:

  1. Start by opening the Settings from the Start menu.
  2. Look for the Privacy icon, represented by a padlock, and click on it.
  3. Navigate to the Location section and switch off the location tracking by toggling the On switch.
  4. To disable ad tracking:
  5. Return to the Privacy screen you were previously in.
  6. Deactivate the “Let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity” option.

#6 Don’t Use the Admin Account

It is recommended to set up separate user accounts for your day-to-day needs, avoiding those with Administrator privileges. Of course, if your day-to-day activities demand it, you may continue to use an account with Administrator privileges. You can have one admin account exclusively used for installing new software or updates while maintaining an unprivileged user account for other tasks.

#7 Turn On Microsoft SmartScreen

SmartScreen, a built-in feature, scans and prevents the execution of known malware. Moreover, it compares the reliability of emails and websites with Microsoft’s blacklist. Thus, it alerts you, as a Windows 10 user, when you attempt to open suspicious content. By combining this cloud-based tool with traditional cybersecurity training for your employees, you can enhance protection against phishing and malware attacks.

#8 Create Your Save Point

When setting up a new Windows 10 machine, it’s crucial to enable system restore as the first step. Consider it a save point for your machine – a way to revert back to a fresh install if things don’t go as planned during the setup for a more secure system. Since it’s not enabled by default in Windows 10, you’ll need to manually enable it by following these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Cortana search box and type “system restore”.
  2. Choose the Control Panel option and click on “Create a restore point”.
  3. In the System Properties dialog box that appears, click on the “System Protection” tab.
  4. Select the drive where Windows is installed (usually the C drive) from the list.
  5. Click on “Configure”.
  6. Enable system protection by clicking on “Turn on system protection”, then click “OK”.

#9 Enable BitLocker

Richard Henderson, head of global threat intelligence at Lastline, emphasizes the absolute importance of enabling disk encryption. While both Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise include BitLocker, Windows 10 Home does not. However, every version of Windows does offer some form of disk encryption, and free options are available online as well. By enabling full disk encryption, you significantly reduce the risk of data misuse on your computer. Once you have enabled BitLocker or any other full disk encryption solution of your choice, remember to securely store the recovery key on both USB storage and paper.

#10 Remove Software You Don’t Need

If your computer is relatively new and you haven’t installed much software, you can clean it up easily by resetting it while keeping your files. Open Settings, go to System, choose Reset this PC, select Keep my files, and follow the on-screen instructions. Before you start, consider creating a backup, just in case, even though this process generally doesn’t remove your personal files.


You have quite a lot of tools to protect Windows. Moreover, the operating system itself has a number of functions that help improve cybersecurity. However, it is wise to supplement them with a reliable VPN, since its scope goes beyond the built-in capabilities of Windows. In this case, it will be possible to achieve the ideal balance between performance and security.

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