Windows releases the Fall Creators Update aiming at revamping Microsoft Windows Defender Security Center with a bunch of new features. Our take on it is, 3rd party antivirus software is still much better.
As a result of the new Microsoft Windows 10 creators update in 2017 the wise old Windows Defender got rebranded with a new name – Microsoft Windows Defender Security Centre. It’s not just a new name, but also a step forward in new features. Not only is it a fully-fledged antivirus or antimalware built-in to your windows 10 operating system, it also manages SmartStream filter, Microsoft Parental Control System, Windows firewall as well as helping optimise your PCs health and performance.
On the surface, there’s not much you can see different to Windows Defender within this week’sWindowss 10 fall creators update, definitely not enough to give your current third-party antivirus the flick, as we will go into more detail.
Protection from ransomware
With that being said, it’s not like the upgrade this time around is not beneficial to you. These days ransomware is a massive worry and Microsoft has put this protection embedded right inside Windows Defender. This feature is not enabled by default, however, and it’s a little hard to discover within settings. For reference, open up Windows Defender settings, and look for the option called Controlled Folder Access, turn it on.
Once enabled, this Windows Defender feature stops unauthorised programs from making any changes to files within your User folders – music, favourites, movies, documents, and download folders.
If you’re currently running Trend Micro, Panda Antivirus or BitDefender, you’ll notice they do the exact same thing. Panda, however, goes a little further, preventing an authorised application from even accessing protected documents or files.
Related: Compare The Best Anti Virus Software
If you find yourself in a situation where ransomware attempts to encrypt these files, Windows Defender immediately stops it and present a warning. A similar process happens if you use an unknown or uncommon application to edit your photos or documents.
Within third-party antivirus applications like Trend Micro, Panda and BitDefender you’re actually able to add a program to the trustee best right from the warning dialogue pop-up box. This is not possible in Windows Defender. You actually need to go right into the settings and manually add the application to the trustee list.
Settings for advanced security users
Throughout the past years, Windows have bundled into its security platform numerous technology features, making it much more difficult for malware writers to get away with their craft. Data Execution Prevention (DEP) completely wiped out a certain kind of malicious attack that worked by concealing malicious code within The random or random access memory (RAM) of the computer, which is usually reserved for data.
In previous versions of Windows Defender, older hacking techniques were successful because it is new where to find certain elements within the operating system memory. With address space layout randomisation, these particular attacks file. Etc.
This particular update of Windows Defender showcases additional settings for ASLR, DEP and other protective features. But chances are unless you were already extremely familiar ASLR and DEP before learning of this, you’re not really privy to change these settings. Probably best to leave them alone or consult a professional computer repair and support service.
Is Windows Defender going to keep you safe?
The main thing to take into account, of course, is how effective Windows Defender is at its primary job of keeping sophisticated malware out of your PC right? For further information on the effectiveness of this particular antivirus, you can read our full review on Windows Defender. Let’s just touch on this lightly for now. Our findings found that the ransomware protection was effective, but lacked to the basic defence against malware. The first thing to note, was that Windows Defender wasn’t able to stop those annoying browser pop-ups or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Most third-party highest rated antivirus software offerings have this as a feature.
This particular update to Windows Defender definitely has the lab test scores on the rise, however, they’re only increasing from the very bottom of our researched lab results. All four antivirus testing laboratories that we follow mentioned Avast and AVG products for leading free antivirus and malware protection. Microsoft’s round lab score is 7.5 out of 10 total score points. You’re probably thinking that this is quite high however it represents a C grade on the report card. AVG and Avast, however, have scores of 9.3 and 9.0 respectively. If you’re like me and you take cyber security seriously and defending your machine against all malware is the highest priority taking into account that it can destroy your data, and to your bank account and invade your privacy A C grade simply just doesn’t cut the cake.
Keep your premium antivirus software installed – It’s better
Whilst the newest ransomware protection features added to Windows Defender within the windows 10 Fall Creators Update are certainly great to have. Stopping programs that are not trusted from making changes to your important documents is certainly a workable technique, a technique used by other commercial and free antivirus software offerings. Read about comparing antivirus features and benefits. However, when it comes to the everyday user, that’s really the only new features or enhancements to Windows Defender.
With this being said, the entire Windows community certainly benefit from this update when those without any idea on cybersecurity have only Windows Defender between them and malicious threats. The true goal is to hope that the widespread malicious software attacks will mostly drop when black hat coders simply have much less access to many completely unprotected PCs. Chances are if you’re reading this, you do have a clue. Simply put, Windows Defender doesn’t stack up to the effectiveness and accuracy of the best free internet security software offerings from third-party companies.