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Configure Built in Windows Ransomware Protection

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Brandon Lee
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Ransomware encrypts your files, making them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. This malware essentially takes your data hostage, demanding payment for its release.

Basic Defense Against Ransomware

Avoiding questionable websites and downloads is your first line of defense against ransomware. Additionally, using modern antivirus programs can further protect your files. These programs can limit the ability of applications to modify files in folders that ransomware typically targets.

Utilizing Microsoft Defender for Enhanced Protection

Microsoft Defender, built into Windows, offers features to prevent ransomware from accessing important folders. However, these protective measures are not enabled by default and require manual activation.

Activating Ransomware Protection in Windows

Follow these steps to turn on ransomware protection:

Step One: Open Windows Security

  • Access the Windows Security app on your computer through one of these methods:
    • Press Alt + Spacebar, type "windows security", and press Enter.
    • Open the Start Menu, type "windows security", and press Enter.
    • Go to your Settings app, and select Windows Security from the left pane.

Step Two: Adjust Your Ransomware Settings

  • Inside the Windows Security app, click on "Virus & threat protection".
  • Scroll down and click on "Manage ransomware protection" at the bottom.
  • Enable "Controlled folder access" to restrict application access to key folders like OneDrive, Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, and Favorites. You can also add other folders to this protected list.

Step Three: Ensure OneDrive Integration

  • Backup is crucial for ransomware recovery. Ensure you're logged into OneDrive for automatic backups.
  • Verify this by checking "Ransomware protection > Ransomware data recovery" within the Windows Security app.

Considering Offline Backups

While OneDrive backups are valuable, an offline backup provides an extra layer of security. Always have an offline copy of your data to ensure comprehensive backup coverage.

Making the Decision: Security vs. Convenience

Activating controlled folder access boosts security but may introduce minor inconveniences, such as issues with saving game files. These can be addressed by allowing specific apps access or saving files to non-restricted locations.

Beyond Basic Protection

While Windows Security offers solid protection, exploring more sophisticated antivirus solutions can enhance your defense. Products like Norton 360 Deluxe offer comprehensive protection, including malware defense, VPN services, password management, and dark web monitoring, simplifying your cybersecurity efforts.

By following these steps, you can significantly enhance your computer's defense against ransomware, balancing robust security with user convenience.

How to turn on Windows built-in ransomware protection | PCWorld

Posted : 04/03/2024 9:28 am