Win10 Protection

windows-defender-screenshotWin10 Protection: a reader asks…

Hi Chris, do I really need to spend money to protect my new Windows 10 computer? I know you recommend Bitdefender and Malwarebytes, but I’d prefer not to have to spend more money, after all I just plunked down a lot for my new computer.

It boils down to how much risk you want to take along with how safely you use your computer. Windows 10 does come with some basic protections built-in that older versions lacked. Chief among them is Microsoft’s Windows Defender, which provides basic protections against viruses, spyware & malware. It also includes a basic firewall for protection against hackers. The web browser you use may also have some basic protection built-in for exploit and phishing protection. But these are all very basic protections and get really low scores compared to my recommended programs.

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word-graphic-computer-digital-life-threats-image-from-shutterstockTell you what, if you don’t want to spend any more money, then use Windows Defender (which is free). Add to that the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and the trial version of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit. You’ll need to remember to run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware every once in a while to scan your system and remove any malware that sneaked by Windows Defender. And learn to ignore the nags to buy Anti-Exploit. And don’t forget to turn on automatic Windows Updates. If you use an alternative web browser (something other than either the Microsoft Edge browser or Internet Explorer 11), then be sure to keep that updated as well. Avoid installing Java or Adobe Flash Player if you can do without, otherwise scrupulously keep them up-to-date. And practice safe computing, I have a handy guide in this article: Safe Computing Practices.

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