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Top Tips for Enhancing Security on Windows 11

Using Windows Defender to protect against malware

Windows Defender is a built-in antivirus program in Windows 11 that helps protect against malware and other malicious software. It works by continuously scanning your computer for known threats and blocking any that it finds.

To enable and configure Windows Defender, you can use the Windows Security app. Open the app and go to the “Virus & threat protection” section. Here, you can turn on real-time protection, which will automatically scan and block any threats that it finds. You can also schedule regular scans or perform a manual scan at any time.

To scan for and remove malware with Windows Defender, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Security app
  2. Go to the “Virus & threat protection” section
  3. Click the “Scan options” button
  4. Select “Full scan” and click the “Scan now” button

This will start a full scan of your computer, which may take some time to complete. If any threats are found, Windows Defender will remove them and prompt you to restart your computer to complete the process.

PowerShell examples

# Check the status of real-time protection
Get-MpComputerStatus

# Enable real-time protection
Set-MpPreference -EnableRealTimeMonitoring $true

# Perform a full scan
Start-MpScan -ScanType FullScan

These PowerShell commands can be used to check the status of real-time protection, enable it if it is disabled, and start a full scan of your computer.

Configuring the Windows Firewall to control network access

The Windows Firewall is a built-in security feature that helps protect your computer by blocking incoming network traffic that is not specifically allowed. It can be configured to allow or block specific programs or ports, providing a layer of protection against network attacks.

To configure the Windows Firewall, you can use the Windows Security app. Open the app and go to the “Firewall & network protection” section. Here, you can view and modify the firewall’s rules for each network profile (such as private or public).

To create a custom firewall rule, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Windows Security app
  2. Go to the “Firewall & network protection” section
  3. Click the “Allow an app through the firewall” link
  4. Click the “Change settings” button
  5. Click the “Allow another app” button
  6. Browse to the program executable file and click the “Add” button

This will create a new firewall rule that allows the specified program to communicate through the firewall. You can repeat these steps to allow additional programs or create rules to block specific programs or ports.

Here is a PowerShell example of using the Windows Firewall to block incoming network traffic on port 80:

# Create a new firewall rule to block incoming traffic on port 80
New-NetFirewallRule -DisplayName "Block HTTP" -Direction Inbound -Protocol TCP 
-LocalPort 80 -Action Block

This PowerShell command creates a new firewall rule that blocks incoming traffic on port 80, which is the default port for HTTP traffic. This can be useful for blocking access to web servers or other services that you do not want to be accessible from the internet.

Additional security measures in Windows 11

In addition to Windows Defender and the Firewall, Windows 11 includes a number of other security features that you can use to enhance the protection of your computer. Some of these include:

  • Windows Hello: This feature allows you to log in to your computer using facial recognition or a fingerprint, providing an additional layer of security for your account.
  • Encryption options: Windows 11 includes options for encrypting your files and folders, as well as the entire system drive. This can help protect your data from unauthorized access.

To use these features, you can use the Windows Security app or the Settings app.

Here are some practical tips for enhancing security in Windows 11:

  • Use strong, unique passwords: It is important to use strong passwords that are difficult for others to guess or crack. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and consider using a password manager to generate and store secure passwords.
  • Keep your software up to date: Keeping your operating system and other software up to date is important for ensuring that you have the latest security fixes and features. Windows 11 includes a feature called Windows Update that can help you keep your system up to date.
  • Use caution when clicking links or downloading files: Be careful when clicking links or downloading files from the internet, as these can sometimes contain malware or other threats. Only download files from trusted sources and be cautious when clicking links in emails or online.

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