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How to keep Windows 11 safe, secure, and protect against threats?

Although Windows 11 does a good job to keep your device secure by default, there are some additional steps you can apply to ensure it remains protected. From setting a strong password to schedule Windows updates, those measures can help to prevent dangerous or malicious software from ruining Windows 11.

How to keep Windows 11 safe, secure, and protect against threats

Whether you’ve just purchased a new Windows 11 PC or laptop or have been using the operating system for a while, you will learn something new with this security checklist to ensure Windows 11 system is secure and protected against threats. Feel free to share with your colleagues, friends and family.

24 Tips to Protect Your Windows 11

Content Summary

General Security Tips
Anti-Virus
Sign-In
Activity and Permissions
Threat Prevention

General Security Tips

Tip 1: Avoid downloading files from unknown or untrustworthy sources to avoid potential malware on device.

Tip 2: Do not connect unknown USBs or other devices to computer.

Tip 3: Depending on email provider, you can set up spam filters to protect against phishing threats and avoid malware that’s attached to emails.

Anti-Virus

Tip 4: It’s important to run a malware scan to ensure there is no presence of dangerous malware on computer. To do this, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. The majority of these processes should automatically run in the background, but you can check them here.

It's important to run a malware scan to ensure there is no presence of dangerous malware on computer. To do this, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection. The majority of these processes should automatically run in the background, but you can check them here.

Tip 5: In Virus & threat protection, you can click on Scan options to run different types of scans on your device.

In Virus & threat protection, you can click on Scan options to run different types of scans on your device.

Quick scan is recommended for your usual scheduled scans and will look at the locations where malware could be hidden that could affect starting your device. A full scan takes much longer but performs a deep scan of your device including archived files, network drives, and more.

Quick scan is recommended for your usual scheduled scans and will look at the locations where malware could be hidden that could affect starting your device. A full scan takes much longer but performs a deep scan of your device including archived files, network drives, and more.

Tip 6: To ensure your device is protected at all times, toggle Real-time protection on in the Virus & threat protection‘s Manage settings menu.

To ensure your device is protected at all times, toggle Real-time protection on in the Virus & threat protection's Manage settings menu.

To ensure your device is protected at all times, toggle Real-time protection on in the Virus & threat protection's Manage settings menu.

This will locate any malware on your device and stop it from installing.

Tip 7: Your device should automatically download the latest security intelligence to keep your device protected. However, you can manually check for updates by going to Virus & protection settings > Protection updates > Check for updates.

Your device should automatically download the latest security intelligence to keep your device protected. However, you can manually check for updates by going to Virus & protection settings > Protection updates > Check for updates.

Your device should automatically download the latest security intelligence to keep your device protected. However, you can manually check for updates by going to Virus & protection settings > Protection updates > Check for updates.

Tip 8: In addition to virus protection, you can also enable ransomware protection on your device in the Virus & protection settings > Ransomware protection menu > Manage ransomware protection.

In addition to virus protection, you can also enable ransomware protection on your device in the Virus & protection settings > Ransomware protection menu > Manage ransomware protection.

Toggle on to allow Controlled folder access.

Toggle on to allow controlled folder access.

Tip 9: If an item that you know is 100% safe gets flagged by Windows Defender as a threat, you can allow some threats through. You can do this via Virus & protection settings > Allowed threats.

If an item that you know is 100% safe gets flagged by Windows Defender as a threat, you can allow some threats through. You can do this via Virus & protection settings > Allowed threats.

If an item that you know is 100% safe gets flagged by Windows Defender as a threat, you can allow some threats through. You can do this via Virus & protection settings > Allowed threats.

Tip 10: Since Windows Defender comes as part of Windows 11, there is no need to install any third-party anti-virus software. If you do install third-party software, it could cause conflicts and cause Windows Defender to stop working, which is counterproductive.

Sign-In

Tip 11: Ensure you have enabled the right way to sign in on your selected computer by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. From here you can enable different ways to sign in depending on the type of computer you’re using.

Ensure you have enabled the right way to sign in on your selected computer by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. From here you can enable different ways to sign in depending on the type of computer you're using.

Tip 12: Ensure your PC is secure and locked while you’re away from the screen via Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.

Ensure your PC is secure and locked while you're away from the screen via Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.

Under Additional settings you can choose to dynamically lock your device automatically.

Under Additional settings you can choose to dynamically lock your device automatically.

Tip 13: If multiple people are using the same Windows 11 device, you can add multiple Microsoft accounts to sign in with. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.

If multiple people are using the same Windows 11 device, you can add multiple Microsoft accounts to sign in with. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users.

Then click on Add other user > Add account.

If multiple people are using the same Windows 11 device, you can add multiple Microsoft accounts to sign in with. Go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users then click on Add other user > Add account.

Tip 14: If you use your device in a public place, it’s sensible to add an account sign-in password. You can set a password via Accounts > Sign-in options > Password. A strong password contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and shouldn’t be easy to guess (like your mother’s maiden name, child’s name, or street you live on).

If you use your device in a public place, it's sensible to add an account sign-in password. You can set a password via Accounts > Sign-in options > Password.

Activity and Permissions

Tip 15: To check which devices are linked to your account and to make sure no unauthorized devices appear, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > Find my device and select the option to see all your devices.

To check which devices are linked to your account and to make sure no unauthorized devices appear, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > Find my device and select the option to see all your devices.

Tip 16: By default, your device will store your activity history, such as the websites you browse and how you use apps and services. To stop storing your activity, you can do this in Settings > Privacy & Security > Activity history.

By default, your device will store your activity history, such as the websites you browse and how you use apps and services. To stop storing your activity, you can do this in Settings > Privacy & Security > Activity history.

Tip 17: Windows Search uses the web and various apps to give you relevant results on your device. You can filter out specific content by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Search permissions.

Windows Search uses the web and various apps to give you relevant results on your device. You can filter out specific content by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Search permissions.

Here you can set SafeSearch to Strict, Moderate, or Off.

Here you can set SafeSearch to Strict, Moderate, or Off.

Tip 18: Certain apps require permission to access information like your location, camera, microphone, etc. To see which apps use these, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > App permissions. You can click on each category to toggle on/off access.

Certain apps require permission to access information like your location, camera, microphone, etc. To see which apps use these, navigate to Settings > Privacy & Security > App permissions. You can click on each category to toggle on/off access.

Tip 19: If you’re worried about losing your Windows laptop or tablet, you can save your device’s location in order to find it again. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Find my device to toggle the option on/off.

If you're worried about losing your Windows laptop or tablet, you can save your device's location in order to find it again. Go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Find my device to toggle the option on/off.

Tip 20: Don’t want to see personalized apps or allow Windows access to your data? Turn these options off by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > General.

Don't want to see personalized apps or allow Windows access to your data? Turn these options off by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > General.

Don't want to see personalized apps or allow Windows access to your data? Turn these options off by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > General.

Threat Prevention

Tip 21: Keep Windows 11 up to date to ensure your PC has the latest security updates. Navigate to Settings > Windows Update to check to see if there are any updates available to download and install.

Keep Windows 11 up to date to ensure your PC has the latest security updates. Navigate to Settings > Windows Update to check to see if there are any updates available to download and install.

Tip 22: Enable Windows 11’s built-in security tools by navigating to Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security. If you don’t have any third-party software installed, this is a necessary step to securing your computer.

Enable Windows 11's built-in security tools by navigating to Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security. If you don't have any third-party software installed, this is a necessary step to securing your computer.

Tip 23: To protect your device from potential online threats, it’s worth looking at a firewall. Windows 11 includes one and it can be activated via Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Firewall & network protection.

Open Windows Security.

To protect your device from potential online threats, it's worth looking at a firewall. Windows 11 includes one and it can be activated via Settings > Privacy & Security > Windows Security > Firewall & network protection.

Tip 24: If you have the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows 11, you can enable BitLocker, a feature that encrypts your device. If you were to lose your Windows 11 device, BitLocker protects the operating system and files so no one else can access them. You can activate this via Settings > Privacy & Security > Device encryption > BitLocker drive encryption.

If you have the Pro or Enterprise version of Windows 11, you can enable BitLocker, a feature that encrypts your device. If you were to lose your Windows 11 device, BitLocker protects the operating system and files so no one else can access them. You can activate this via Settings > Privacy & Security > Device encryption > BitLocker drive encryption.

BitLocker drive encryption.

Turn on BitLocker.

Apply the extra settings on Windows 11 can help to protect your device against threats. It’s easy to be security savvy when you know what you’re looking for.

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