Does Windows 10 Protect Your Data While You Surf the Internet?
Whether it is scammers or corporations, everyone wants your data. Therefore, you must take every step possible and use the tools you can get to protect it. Fortunately, almost all major IT service providers, including hardware manufacturers and software vendors, take security very seriously.
Microsoft is one of those who are doing what they can to help consumers of their products remain safe while interacting with the rest of the world through the World Wide Web—the internet. They have continued to add more and more security features to their operating system (OS), Windows.
The question is whether what the operating system offers is enough, or users need to seek third-party security solutions like virtual private networks (VPN). It is also important to know how a Windows VPN, for example, works together with the inbuilt security features of the operating system.
What Windows 10 can do
Windows 10, Microsoft’s latest version, has a lot to offer when it comes to security. Indeed, we can argue that it is the best work Microsoft has done regarding security. In particular, the operating system comes with a feature they refer to as Device Encryption. This is a tool that encrypts all the data processed and stored on your device. That means that if someone accesses your machine remotely, they cannot read the content you have on it.
It also has the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen, a tool that can identify and automatically block malware, phishing activity and stops the downloading of malicious files.
Another Windows 10 security feature is found in the Edge browser that is part of it. The Windows Defender Application Guard does not prevent you from accessing sites it deems a security threat. Instead, it creates a special container through which you can interact with the content on the site without it leaking to your computer and contaminating your applications or planting malware that could steal your data.
Another security feature on the Windows 10 OS is the User Account Control that prevents the installation of applications without express permission from the machine’s owner.
Indeed, Windows 10 is designed to give the user a lot of control over what happens on their computer, how their data is stored, the applications they run, and how they interact with the internet.
What Windows 10 cannot do
There are a few things that the operating system is not designed to do as far as security is concerned.
First, Windows 10 OS cannot mask your IP address. Even more, it does not encrypt the data that enters and leaves your machine. It only encrypts the data once it is on your device.
This creates a loophole that allows hackers who may be watching your traffic to hijack the data on transit and indeed understand its content.
In addition, any third party with the right tools can tell what sites you visit and what content you consume, and that can be a significant breach of your privacy.
For instance, you may become a target for highly personalized marketing campaigns, some of which can overwhelm you, especially since the psychology profile built from data collected from you can be weaponized against you.
The security features that come with Windows 10 can also not give you the ability to circumvent censorship that is imposed on you based on your geographical location. Indeed, there are many instances when you need to access content, but the platform on which it is published bars based on where you are located. Movie streaming services like Netflix and Hulu are examples of platforms that can lock you out based on accessing the platform.
It is often not the publisher of the content or the platform’s creator that denies you access. Some governments around the world censor access to online platforms as a way to manage narratives and therefore maintain their hold on power. Of course, if you are in such a country, you would like to have a way to circumvent this censorship form.
Complementing Windows 10
It is these reasons that make it necessary for users of Windows 10 to seek and use third-party security tools. For example, a Windows VPN gives you the ability to secure the communication between your machine and the rest of the internet.
It is important to note that a VPN does not interfere with the functioning of the security features of Windows 10. While the Windows 10 security features focus on what happens within the device, a VPN secures the communication channel between the device and the internet. It instead complements them.
Yes, Windows 10 comes with excellent security tools, but there are things that it cant do for you, and you have to look elsewhere.