When extolling the virtues of Windows 10, Microsoft is keen to stress how much safer the new OS is.
The problem, of course, is that the weakest link in any security chain is pretty much always the user. Microsoft is introducing a new feature to Windows 10 that will make the OS more secure, and help users make better decisions.
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The Windows Defender Security Center will be introduced in the Windows 10 Creators Update, but Insiders on the Fast ring can already try it out by launching it from the All Apps menu in Build 15014.
When you run it, you’ll be greeted with a message informing you that “Windows Defender is making some improvements”. Dismiss the message and you can begin to explore the new app.
Writing about the feature, Rob Lefferts, Partner Director, Windows & Devices Group, Security & Enterprise, explains that the “Windows Defender Security Center includes five pillars that give you control and visibility of your device security, health and online safety experiences.” These “Five pillars” are:
Virus & threat protection provides a new view of your antivirus protection whether it’s Windows Defender Antivirus that comes free with Windows 10 or AV software from one of our ecosystem partners. If you’ve chosen Windows Defender Antivirus, your scan results and threat history will be displayed here, or you will be able to launch your 3rd party AV protection app directly from this screen.
Device performance & health provides a single view of your latest Windows updates, drivers, battery life and storage capacity. Additionally, you have the option to start fresh with a clean install of Windows using the Refresh Windows feature. This option will keep your personal files and some Windows settings, and remove most of your apps for a fresh start that can help with performance improvements should your device need them.
Firewall & network protection provides information on the network connections and active Windows Firewall settings, as well as links to network troubleshooting information.
App & browser control allows you to adjust settings for SmartScreen for apps and browsers helping you be more informed and stay safer online by warning you of potential malicious sites, downloads and unrecognized apps and files from the Internet.
Family options gives you an easy way to connect to the family options available online. This page can link you to information about parental controls, options for setting up good screen time habits, setting up activity reports of your kids’ online activity and managing controls for purchasing apps and games. You can also view the health and safety of your family’s devices from this centralized location.
Windows Defender Security Center is very much a work in progress, but it has potential, and there are some smart touches. If you have a paid antivirus solution and the subscription expires, Windows Defender will automatically step in to cover. While it won’t keep you anywhere near as safe, at least it will be better than no protection at all, which is a definite bonus.
As I’ve said before, the Creators Update is set to really improve Windows 10 in lots of different ways, and the Windows Defender Security Center is yet another very welcome inclusion.