7 ways to make your Windows PC easy to hack

7 ways to make your Windows PC easy to hack

Hackers know that people make mistakes when using Windows, and they can use this weakness to exploit their computers. As such, it comes down to you, the user, to assess your habits and ditch the bad ones.

But how do you know when you’ve adopted practices that make your Windows machine an easy target to hack? Here are seven Windows security flaws to look for, as well as tips on how to fix them to secure your PC.

1. You haven’t updated Windows in a while

Hackers release thousands of new malware to infect your Windows PC every month, meaning you can’t afford to miss important security updates. Microsoft constantly releases updates that add new features, fix bugs and close security holes. But if you’ve disabled automatic updates for some reason, you can easily forget to install them yourself for months.

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With your computer connected to the Internet, update Windows by clicking on Start and then the gear icon to open Settings. Set the course towards Update and Security > Windows Update and click on Look for updates. If Windows finds new updates, install them.

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2. You have outdated apps

Since many apps on Windows store your personal information, hackers can exploit them to steal it if they are not secure. Fortunately, app makers also release updates to improve security, preventing hackers from exploiting outdated code and designs.

To update apps you’ve downloaded from the Microsoft Store, type “Microsoft Store” in Search field on Task line and click the app in the search results to launch it. Then click Library (bottom left) to see which apps need to be updated.

click on Get updates for the Microsoft Store app to scan for new updates and install any it finds.

Most apps you didn’t install through the Microsoft Store will notify you when an update is available. If not, you can open the app and check for updates manually. For example, with the VLC media player you can go to Help > Check for Updates to see if a new and better version is available.

3. You don’t perform full system scan regularly

While you’re on the internet, it’s easy to pick up malware without realizing it. Therefore, it is important to perform a full system scan at least once a week. And if you’re worried you’ll forget, you can easily automate the scanning process.

Related: The best antivirus software for Windows 10

You don’t need to download any third-party antivirus software, as Windows Defender, provided you have updated it, can do an effective job. Type “Task Scheduler” in Search field and click the app in the results to open it. Under Task scheduler library in the left pane, go to Microsoft > Windows > Windows Defender.

In the middle pane, double-click on Windows Defender Schedule Scan. This will open Windows Defender Scheduled Scan Properties (Local Computer) window. IN Triggers tab, click on New to create a trigger.

Under Settings in New trigger window, select Weekly and the day you want the scan to repeat. Then click on OK.

4. Your Windows Defender firewall is not on

Not having a firewall is an open invitation for external threats, such as malicious data packets sent by hackers, to invade your Windows PC. You should only disable the firewall when necessary and you should never forget to turn it back on afterwards.

If you didn’t remember to turn on your firewall after disabling it, it’s time to fix it immediately. Print windows key, enter “Firewall” in Search fieldand click on Firewall and network protection in the results.

click on Domain network and seen Microsoft Defender firewall to On. Go back and do the same for Private network and Public network.

5. You have disabled User Account Control (UAC)

UAC is not a feature you want disabled, especially if you are always online. One of UAC’s critical functions is to restrict programs from making changes that could affect the entire system. So if your Windows machine gets infected by malware, UAC will prevent it from accessing your entire system.

To activate the function, press Windows keytype “UAC” in the search box and select Change user account settings from the results. If the slider is on Never notifydrag it up to the level you want to enable UAC.

6. You didn’t encrypt your hard drive

If you have sensitive data on your hard drive, it is important to encrypt it. That way, if you ever lose your laptop or someone steals your computer, they won’t be able to open the drive and access the information.

To encrypt your hard drive, tap Windows key, type “This PC” and open the app in the results. Right-click on the hard drive you want to encrypt and select Turn on BitLocker.

Select Use a password to unlock the drive, enter the password you want to use and click Next. Be sure to create an unbreakable password that you won’t forget. Then choose how you want to back up the recovery key and click on Next.

Choose whether you want to encrypt just the disk space you’ve used or the entire drive, then click Next.

Click Next to select the default encryption mode.

Finally click Start encrypting to start the encryption process.

When you are done, there will be a lock icon on the encrypted hard drive. That means you have to enter a password every time you restart Windows to access your files.

Related: The Best Online Password Generators for Strong Random Passwords

7. You allow anyone to use your user account

Allowing family and friends to use your computer is not a big deal. But if you let them use your user account, there’s no telling if their actions will inadvertently compromise it. The best way to avoid this is to create a guest account.

click on Start and go to Settings > Accounts > Family & other usage. Under Other usersclick on Add someone else to this PC.

In the next window, select I don’t have this person’s login information.

Then you choose Add a user without a Microsoft account.

Name the account “Guest” and create a password to complete setup.

Time to adopt good habits for your Windows security

By making sure you don’t make the mistakes mentioned above, your Windows PC should be harder to hack. Remember that securing your computer is an ongoing process. So consider this article the beginning of your journey of creating good habits that will make your Windows system impenetrable.

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