Microsoft Windows 10 Defender: Finally Good Enough!

Internet security is an increasing real life issue for all Windows based computer users. Gone are the early days when people only had to worry about "viruses". Today, ransomware, spyware, and various new forms of malicious software are considered (sadly) an everyday [normal scenario] threat to all Windows users.

With the latest Windows 10 version April 1803 update, Defender has now reached the point where I can recommend leaving it in place and using it. In fact, I see it as (very) good choice. This post will share some details and test results  that indicates what this package now offers, and some proof of the protection found in this latest release.

latest Windows 10 version April 1803 update

Your firewall, system monitoring tools, parental controls, and Windows Defender itself can be found and managed in one simple interface.

Windows Defender features a firewall, antivirus and anti-malware in one. It detects malicious applications and possible threats while quietly running in the background. It can identify and block malicious websites in Internet Explorer and Edge. It scans email attachments when received through Microsoft Outlook. It also protects links accessed through Microsoft Office 365.

Windows 10 Defender does not come as "bloat-ware", it works straight out of the box; there is no need for you to enable anything, set anything up, or register for anything. For most people, this is a easy choice. The alternative third-party security packages often come with bloatware (advertising) and somewhat complicated fix-it tools.

Understanding the new Microsoft Edge Application Guard released with Windows 10 1803

Occasionally, for whatever reason, we browse parts of the web we know could be dangerous, where malicious pop-ups, ransomware or other malware could infect our PCs. While no (known) solution is totally safe, Microsoft now has a free, specialized version of its Edge browser specifically designed to protect you online: "Windows Device Application Guard, or WDAG."
This feature is available in Windows 10 editions:
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Edition, version 1709 or higher
  • Windows 10 Professional Edition, version 1803

When a person tries to access a site that is not recognized or trusted, the Application Guard creates a new case of Windows which has the ability to support the running of Microsoft Edge browser. This new case of Windows has no access to the user’s normal operating environment, which means that it has no access to local storage, any domain credentials, installed applications, memory etc.
Quote: Microsoft has posted a Browser comparison graph to show that Edge browser had "substantially fewer" vulnerabilities since its launch than Chrome and Firefox, explaining that all the security improvements that the company has been making are paying off.

Windows Defender Application Guard for Windows 10 1803 lets you run Edge in a protected virtualized environment, protecting your PC from malicious code. Even if a malicious website exploited a flaw in Edge, it could not compromise your PC. Notes: With Windows 10 Application Guard is disabled by default.

Windows 7 vs Windows 10: How do the operating systems compare?

History: Back in 2015, Windows 7 was superior to Windows 10 but not by a wide margin. Back then, Windows 7 was a mature operating system that ran software well, and in a predictable manner.

It is now 2018. Now Windows 10 is overall better than Windows 7. Yes, Windows 10 does have some distinct flaws but they are no longer show-stopping flaws.

Many have held back from updating to Windows 10 because they"re afraid of technical problems, don"t like the Windows 10 user interface or are concerned some features may be missing. In this article we can compare some of the main features of Windows 7 along with their Windows 10 equivalents.

The following summary of core features is what makes Windows 10 what it is:

  • Cortana is Microsoft"s version of a digital assistant. It will set reminders, give information, and help you write text messages and emails.

  • Windows Hello is a biometric security system that uses facial recognition or a fingerprint scan to log you into Windows 10 and authenticate Store purchases.

  • Virtual Desktop allows you to create multiple desktops that you can switch between with the click of a button. You can move windows between desktops and easily keep track of multiple ongoing projects.

  • Windows Ink has a growing number of compatible apps that let you edit, annotate, and doodle with a digital pen. It"s incredibly easy to take notes, and you can even create works of art.

  • Edge is Microsoft"s signature web browser and its Internet Explorer replacement. It"s designed for the modern internet user. Options are an e-reader function and new extensions.

  • Windows Defender is software that protects your computer from viruses and malware. It runs full-time and will let you know if anything suspicious is happening or if it thinks you"re about to do something unsafe. It also receives constant updates to ensure it"s protecting as well as possible.

  • Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) offers the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.

More like Windows 7

How To Perform a data migration from a Windows Computer to a Mac

Owning a Mac does not require not having all of your Windows data and files. For the most part, all of your Windows user data, including documents, pictures, music, and videos, can make the journey to the Mac without too much trouble.

Your Windows applications, however, will have to stay behind. They depend on a Windows operating system, and won"t run directly on a Mac. In many cases you can find a Mac equivalent software package.

Notes: With the release of OS X Lion (10.7.x), the Apple Migration Assistant gained the ability to copy user data from PCs running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. With subsequent versions of OS X were released, the Migration Assistant picked up the ability to work with Windows 8, and Windows 10.

In this guide we will use the Windows Migration Assistant to transfer your music, pictures, documents, and other data from a Windows PC to your Mac.

Windows Migration Assistant transfers your contacts, calendars, email accounts, and more from a PC. It migrates this data to the appropriate places on your Mac.

Windows to Mac Migration

After you migrate data to your Mac, be sure to authorize your Mac in iTunes. It’s important to authorize before you sync or play content that you download from the iTunes Store.


How To Perform a Mac System Migration from an old to new Mac

If you have just bought a new Mac, and you are upgrading from an older computer, you will want all of your files and data to be accessible on the new machine.

With the release of Mac OS X 10.3 “Panther” Apple has provided a useful utility, Migration Assistant, to help move data between your old and new Macs. With this utility you can easily migrate your installed applications, system settings and user data from your old system to your new one.

Meet Mac

The migration Assistant works very well, and has gotten better with every subsequent release of Mac OS X. However despite Apple’s best efforts there are times when Migration Assistant cannot or won’t work.

Should You Migrate or Do a Clean Installation? Read on.

Method 1: The automated migration [migrate] process on a new Mac

Apple includes a very useful tool as part of its Mac operating system: Migration Assistant. This feature is the same as Setup Assistant, which only runs during the setup of a new Mac; therefore, once you have set up the computer, you will have to use Migration Assistant.

How to transfer data from your old iPad to your new iPad

Among the 9.7 inch or 12.9 inch iPad Pro, iPad Air or iPad mini, no matter which tablet you"ve got, after purchasing, doubtlessly, the first thing you need to do is to set up and activate your new iPad. Then transferring data like photos, videos, songs, apps and contacts to new iPad is the next important issue. Here"s how to move data from your old iPad to your new iPad.

Follow the steps mentioned below to first take a back up of your old iPad and then restore the backup to your newly purchased iPad using iTunes, iCloud or Automatic Settings.

Before you start, it is recommend you to update your old iPad to the latest iOS to ensure that you don’t hit any compatibility issues when you migrate from your old iPad data.

Please note that if you also want to transfer passwords to your new iPad then it is possible only using iTunes backup. This process will transfer your saved messages, email accounts, photos, notes, and other personal settings to your new iPad.

How to transfer your data to your new iPad using iTunes

Windows 10 version 1803 Security Improvements

The Windows 10 version 1803 release (also known as the Windows 10 April 2018 Update) is redefining the way we think about security. This windows release offers improved identity and access control, cloud security integration, and containerization to improve the security without degrading the end user experience.

Windows 10 is now more secure with the latest Windows Defender from Microsoft. Microsoft has released a Windows Defender Browser Protection extension (add-on) for Google Chrome allowing an additional layer of protection when browsing online. This is Powered by the same trusted intelligence found in the Microsoft Edge browser. The new Chrome extension is available as a free download from the Chrome Web Store. It also comes with a real-time indicator to notify users about potentially unsecured sites.

Windows Defender Browser Protection extension for Google Chrome

Microsoft state that the Windows Defender Browser Protection on Microsoft Edge will  protect against 99 percent of phishing attacks, while Chrome offers 87 percent of protection and Mozilla"s Firefox comes third with 70 percent of protection rate. These numbers may be a good reason to install Microsoft"s extension on your Chrome browser.

Mac vs Windows - A Comparison Guide

This post is meant to give a comparison between Apple Macintosh computers and a PC running Microsoft Windows.

A PC generally refers to a computer that runs on the Windows operating system. It is also defined as an IBM-compatible computer, thereby meaning that its architecture is based on the IBM microprocessor. A number of different operating systems are compatible with PCs; the most popular of which is Microsoft Windows. Some others are the UNIX variants, such as Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.

Macintosh, commonly known as Mac, is a brand name which covers several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The Mac is the only computer in the world that can run all the major operating systems, including Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Vista.

Operating System

The Mac operating system — earlier called OS X and now renamed mac OS — has traditionally been viewed as more stable than Windows. The main reason for this was that Apple produces both the hardware (Mac computer) and the software (Mac operating system); so they have better control over the integration of the entire system. Apple is also known to use only the best parts for its computers.

Since the Windows operating system can run on hundreds of different types of computers, variations in hardware configurations within those computers can cause stability problems. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of PC manufacturers and so there is a wide variety in hardware quality of PCs.

How to restart Windows 10 - and how to activate and use Safe Mode?

If you have used Windows 10 for a while, you may have noticed that the old ways of booting into Safe Mode no longer work. By that, I mean trying things like pressing the F8 or the Shift + F8 keys on your keyboard while booting.

Let"s take a closer look and see all the ways you can get into Safe Mode in Windows 10:

The usual [F8] key method no longer works  — it’s been disabled to speed up boot times.

Restart Windows 10 normally

1. Using the Start menu

This is the way to restart Windows 10 that every user should know about. Simply open the Start menu, click the Power button and select Restart.

Restart Windows 10 using the Start menu

Security: The value of Windows Updates

When Microsoft launches a new version of Windows, online criminals quickly find vulnerable areas in the operating system and continue to do so for the lifetime of the version. To counter this, Microsoft releases regular updates – via Windows Update – such as security updates or critical updates, which protect against malware and security exploits.

Running Microsoft (Windows) updates on your system helps mitigate the risk of the aforementioned threats by patching loopholes and security flaws as they are found by Microsoft’s risk mitigation team which works around the clock.

Microsoft Updates are crucial for the mitigation of security risks and smooth operation of your Windows Operating System. It is estimated that the vast majority of vulnerable systems which become exploited with "attacks" are directly vulnerable due to the lack of recent Windows updates and therefore the infection and spread of many types of malware and viruses could be mitigated with regular updates.

Windows 10 machines include the new Windows Defender Security Center, which includes built-in protection against virus and threats.

Windows 10: new Windows Defender Security Center

Windows 10 Update Standards

All Windows Updates in Windows 10 are automatic. They cannot be turned off.

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Peter Bowey

Peter Bowey
I am a electronics technician, computer engineer, and a IT support person. I work with technology across a wide range of computer disciplines - Apple, Windows and (for myself) Linux.